The Hot Zone This book is about how the deadly Ebola virus made its way through many countries and almost caused a major epidemic in the United States, but mostly in Virginia. This book focuses on the effects of when they almost had an outbreak in the U. S. and how they had to stop it from spreading. This was hard for them because they only had one option to contain it, and that was biocontainment. But it is also about the effects of the Ebola virus and the history behind it and some other viruses.
In the beginning the first character introduced, Charles Monet, drives to Mount Elgon on New Year’s Eve. While in Kitum Cave he becomes exposed to the virus and gets it. It is also to be thought of where a Danish boy named Peter Cardinal who was visiting his parents contracted it. Ebola Zaire is one of the four known “filoviruses” along with Marburg, Ebola Reston, and Ebola Sudan, which are level 4 biohazard. After a few days Charles Monet starts to feel some symptoms of Ebola including a headache, red eyes, and a backache. He then has to be flown to the Nairobi Hospital.
Charles Monet bleeds out in the lobby of the hospital and Dr. Musoke is assigned to take care of him. He soon dies. After the operation he had, Dr. Silverstein said Dr. Musoke tested positive of Marburg. Four years later Major Nancy Jaax comes onto the scene. Her and her husband both work for the Army in the veteran corps in Fort Detrick. Dan Dalgard, the Veternarian at the Reston Primate Quarantine Unit, notices that some of the monkeys in the Reston Monkey House are getting sick. He send some blood and spleen samples to Peter Jahrling, a civilian Army virologist at USAMRID.
Tom Geisbert, an intern at USAMRID and Peter Jharling believe that the samples sent to them may be a filovirus. Peter Jahrling later calls Dan Dalgard to tell him about what they had found, but he didn’t tell Dan Dalgard just how bad it is. Later, Colonel Peters asks Dan Dalgard to send some employees down to the monkey house. He is fine with it but doesn’t want him to see the monkey house. Then they transport the monkeys back and forth to Fort Detrick to test them.
Then Colonel Peters has a meeting with everyone who had knowledge about the virus.They decide to treat the whole building like a level 4 hotzone and euthanize all the monkeys. Two of Dan Dalgard’s employees, Jarvis Purdy and Milton Frantig, become sick but get over it. The monkey house is given to the USAMRID to treat and test the monkeys. Colonel Jerry Jaax brings in his team of mostly volunteers and unexperienced people. They then find a new test for Ebola and the two sick employees are tested and turn up negative. They find out that the virus is Ebola Reston and that it is airborne and doesn’t affect humans. Three years later Richard Preston visits Africa.
Richard Preston explains that the Kinshasa Highways was a dirt road that went through almost all of Africa and when it was paved, AIDS and other viruses started spreading down it rapidly. He and his friends then enter Kitum Cave with directions on what to do if they become extremely ill. He then begins exploring the cave and looks for salt. As he is searching he notices the marks the elephants left. While he was looking he bumped his head. Then he realizes the effects of the virus, that if a person on an airplane has the virus, everyone on that airplane could get it and spread it to other people in the airport.
He also realizes that they could end life. After that He returns to Quarantine Unit at Reston. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes gross science things and viruses or diseases. This book really puts it into perspective that the United States isn’t immune to diseases, even though we have many technological updates and we are a first world country. It gives examples of different diseases, including aids, yellow fever, Ebola, and many more. If you are interested in viruses and diseases, this book is an excellent book to read.
This book in my opinion was not the best. It was more for those who really love science. It was also very descriptive of all the symptoms of the disease. I wouldn’t recommend it to people who cannot stand thinking about people who are bleeding their guts out and throwing up constantly. Overall, the book was not very interesting. Although I was not disgusted by the mental images I thought of when I read the book. I think the book was very confusing the way the book skipped around to different situations and people.