Army Sergeant Bill Thomas works with hazardous materials at the Fort Detrick Army lab in Frederick, Maryland. One Saturday in 2014, he goes to work, expecting the day to be like any other. He's supposed to move vials of lab-manufactured Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever-a highly contagious and deadly disease. Little does he know he has been chosen to become patient zero for an engineered outbreak; he will soon bring about the deaths of thousands of innocent people.
At the same time, Joe Randal and his wife, Sarah, are preparing for a trip with their kids to their North Carolina lake house when rumors of a food poisoning epidemic spread. To the Randals, this is nothing to be concerned about-likely just a case of some bad meat. They decide to drive separately to their lake house, not realizing that the decision will become a life-or-death struggle to reunite as America falls apart around them.
As the illness spreads, the United States collapses in a well-planned coup that eliminates the entire government system. Joe and Sarah must depend on their intellects and survival skills to reunite them and protect their family. Rebel forces begin to form all across the country, and the Randals become a key part in the fight to regain control. Two questions remain for them: how fast will the deadly disease spread, and how will Joe and Sarah find each other in the chaos?