The Hot Zone is a true story about an Ebola virus outbreak originating in Kenya, Africa at Kitum Cave on Mount. Algon. This outbreak happened In the 1990’s, which devastated many of the surrounding areas and people found this virus to be spreading to many other placed not in the vicinity of the infected zone. The virus hit many places in Africa and traveled to the United States through monkeys that were transported to Reston, Virginia on plane.
A major part of this book was the outbreak of Ebola in Reston. Reston contained a monkey house for veterinary microbiology. Soon after a shipment of monkeys showed up, many of the monkeys began to bleed out and die. This caught the attention of USAMRIID (United States Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases). USAMRIID sent army personnel and microbiologist to deal with the outbreak in the warehouse. They quarantined the building and killed all monkeys.
They injected the monkeys with a sedative and once they were asleep, they were given a shot that stopped their hearts. The scientist performed biopsies on the monkeys once dead and studied their insides and their blood to determine if they were dealing with Ebola from Africa or a mutated strain.
They also believed it could be Marburg virus since this was the first deadly virus seen right before the Ebola outbreaks. After all of these events went down. They named the virus in Reston to be a new strain called the Reston virus, a mutated strain of Ebola. By the end of the book, many places in Africa such a Nairobi hospital are infected. Nairobi hospital was the hospital on site of the outbreak which took in all infected persons. They used dirty needles and didn’t wash their hands which helped the spread of the virus. After someone was determined to die, they were put in a room until they died.
The rooms were all blood, so bloody that the nurses refused to clean them at risk of catching the virus. After a while, the virus went dormant and was not seen for a while. To this day though, Africa still deals with the risk of Ebola Zaire, Reston, Sudan, or Ivory Coast virus coming back into play. This book in my opinion was very well constructed. I didn’t have any issues with the way it was written, however the ending was not needed. After USAMRIID finally takes care of the situation at the monkey warehouse in Reston, Richard Preston, the author, writes a final chapter called “Camp”.
This seemed like it was a completely different part of the book because it had characters in the book that weren’t much used, so I didn’t really know the background on them. Instead of leaving the end of the book with the last chapter, he added this chapter that was a pointless car ride with two men talking. I would have taken that chapter out and left it at when the Reston problem was solved. Since this book was a true story, there was no real theme of the book. If you wanted to stretch it, you could defiantly say that when something happens on the other side of the world, you can just forget about it because it may come to affect you.
An example of this was the origination of Ebola in Africa, and it made its way all the way over to America. I would have to say that’s also what I learned from this book because I never knew about the Reston incident. I thought that the Ebola virus only existed in Africa and I never knew it spread that far from Africa. This book defiantly demonstrated great knowledge on the subject.
I can easily see that Richard Preston defiantly did his research on the subject of the Ebola outbreaks and their tracks around the world. I believe that anyone interested in research or viruses would benefit from this book because it shows you the first person accounts with the outbreak and it really goes in the depth about what the virus exactly did damage wise, on the human body itself, and entire communities.
Link to Reston Incident: http://www. stanford. edu/group/virus/filo/ebor. html Work Cited: 1. ) “Hot Zone Reviews. ” Hot Zone. N. p. , n. d. Web. 11 Dec. 1921. <www. smithsonianmag. com/science-nature/book_0695. html >. 2. ) ” Richard Preston | About Richard Preston . ” Richard Preston | . N. p. , n. d. Web. 21 Dec. 2011. <http://richardpreston. net/about-richard-preston>.