Rabid

Rabid - Sophie Bartelt

Rabid


Set in the wake of COVID-19 and based on true events, a bizarre new syndrome is emerging, particularly in the US. People are falling ill with extreme salivation, foaming at the mouth, hemorrhagic red dots in their eyes and on their limbs, confusion, muscle destruction, and worse. For some, amputation and kidney failure ensue - even death.

Protagonist Jared is a rookie firefighter/paramedic who still suffers from a traumatic loss; subsequently he experiences unresolved survivor's guilt and is obsessed with perfect performance. Returning from an EMS call with his partner Russ, Jared is baffled over 43 year old Elsie's strange symptoms. Could it be a stroke? A rabid animal bite? Poisoning? A new type of infection from a COVID mutation? Soon a retiring salesman, a commercial airline pilot, a restaurant owner and others fall ill with similar symptoms, necessitating transport to hospitals across the US.

At Lockheed University Hospital, Dr. Victor Rivera becomes inundated in his emergency department (starting with Elsie); nurse Flora is on the edge of burnout, and microbiologist Faidah uncovers alarming findings. Strange alarms and malfunctions capture the attention of pathologist Dr. Tyrone Vast and geneticist Dr. Peter Lankenau, until the nation's public health expert Dr. Mario Trutelli is called to help solve the crisis. Most bewildering is that this syndrome has no precedent: it is not caused by any infectious source, that is, by a bacterium, virus, fungus or parasite. As with COVID-19, this novel syndrome threatens to overwhelm the healthcare system.

Connections to Jared's military past, however, lead to shocking discoveries, including massive secret livestock farms... Ultimately this leads to solving the mystery of what becomes known as Rabid-Rhabdomyolysis Syndrome.

Woven into the plot are the most pressing issues of our time: the epidemic of chronic preventable diseases and of climate change. It is also a cautionary tale.

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Set in the wake of COVID-19 and based on true events, a bizarre new syndrome is emerging, particularly in the US. People are falling ill with extreme salivation, foaming at the mouth, hemorrhagic red dots in their eyes and on their limbs, confusion, muscle destruction, and worse. For some, amputation and kidney failure ensue - even death.

Protagonist Jared is a rookie firefighter/paramedic who still suffers from a traumatic loss; subsequently he experiences unresolved survivor's guilt and is obsessed with perfect performance. Returning from an EMS call with his partner Russ, Jared is baffled over 43 year old Elsie's strange symptoms. Could it be a stroke? A rabid animal bite? Poisoning? A new type of infection from a COVID mutation? Soon a retiring salesman, a commercial airline pilot, a restaurant owner and others fall ill with similar symptoms, necessitating transport to hospitals across the US.

At Lockheed University Hospital, Dr. Victor Rivera becomes inundated in his emergency department (starting with Elsie); nurse Flora is on the edge of burnout, and microbiologist Faidah uncovers alarming findings. Strange alarms and malfunctions capture the attention of pathologist Dr. Tyrone Vast and geneticist Dr. Peter Lankenau, until the nation's public health expert Dr. Mario Trutelli is called to help solve the crisis. Most bewildering is that this syndrome has no precedent: it is not caused by any infectious source, that is, by a bacterium, virus, fungus or parasite. As with COVID-19, this novel syndrome threatens to overwhelm the healthcare system.

Connections to Jared's military past, however, lead to shocking discoveries, including massive secret livestock farms... Ultimately this leads to solving the mystery of what becomes known as Rabid-Rhabdomyolysis Syndrome.

Woven into the plot are the most pressing issues of our time: the epidemic of chronic preventable diseases and of climate change. It is also a cautionary tale.

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