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The Stand by Stephen King

The novel is divided into three parts, or books. The first is titled "Captain Trips" and takes place over nineteen days, with the escape and spread of a human-made superflu (influenza) virus known formally as "Project Blue", but most commonly as "Captain Trips". The virus is developed at a U.S. Army base, where it is accidentally released. While the base tries to shut down before any infected person can escape, a security malfunction allows a guard and his family to sneak out. Unfortunately, they are already infected, and set off a pandemic that kills an estimated 99.4% of the world's human population, as well as that of domesticated animals, such as horses and dogs.