China Syndrome by Karl Taro Greenfeld is one of the scariest books I've ever read. It's a nonfiction chronicle of SARS in China.
The disease is scary enough. Out of nowhere, people become dangerously ill and around 10% of those infected die. But that's not the scary part. The scary part is the government's response to the disease. Not only did the government deny to the media that there was a disease outbreak, they actively sought to cover up the disease and hide it from the World Health Organization.
As the disease moved out of China (striking as far away as Toronto), the WHO became aware that there was a problem and offered their assistance. As they visited hospitals in China, the government ordered patients moved out of those hospitals to hide that there was any disease occurring.
The world was lucky. SARS mostly burned itself out, despite the poor choices made in dealing with the disease.
Next time may be different....