The Hot Zone Review

?The book The Hot Zone, by Richard Preston, starts with a description of the activities of Charles Monet before and during when he had Marburg. The description of Monet’s extreme symptoms and death in the first chapter illustrate that this virus is extremely detrimental. We soon learn that this filovirus is called Marburg and that it kills on average one in four people. The book then takes us to an Army research facility where Nancy and Jerry Jaax work. These chapters talk more specifically about Nancy and her struggles to be able to work with level 4 hot agents like the Marburg and Ebola virus.

After an Ebola outbreak at Ngaliema Hospital and Peter Cardinal’s death, they began to see a similarity in one of the places that infected people went. Peter Cardinal and Charles Monet both went to Kitum Cave. Consequently, Gene Johnson decided to do an experiment in Kitum cave, but did not find any trace of any filoviruses. Then, the devastating disease traveled to America. Dan Dalgard found that a lot of crab eating monkeys, from the Philippines, dead.

The symptoms these monkeys were lethargy and loss of their appetite. The monkeys showed hemorrhage in many organs, expanded kidneys, lesion that showed a pattern of a inflamed spleen, and their spleens were also very hard in comparison to a normal spleen. Peter Jahrling started working on diagnosing the monkey’s disease. They did not classify the virus as a level four hot agent at first; consequently, extra precautions were not taken around it, that caused Jahrling and a intern to smell the later know to be hot agent.

As the virus continued to spread throughout the monkey house, terror spread through the army research center when Geisbert saw what seems to be a Marburg, only with slightly more spaghetti like, in a sample from one of the monkeys. The test came back and to find that monkeys had an even more destructive virus than Marburg, Ebola Zaire. After debate they decided that they would have to kill all 450 monkeys and sterilize the entire building. Jerry Jaax was in charge, even though level 4 agents were not what he usually worked with.

Then, on a December morning Army workers in space suits entered the monkey house in Reston. They tried to kill the monkeys in the most humane way possible, putting them to sleep and then killing them with a lethal drug. Prior to injecting the monkeys with the lethal drug many samples were taken. After the Reston Monkey house had been nuked, they tried to bring new monkeys into the monkey house, but when these new monkey that were from the Philippines brought Ebola with them again, the monkey house was shut down for good.

This strand of Ebola, Ebola Reston, was extremely contagious and deadly in monkeys, but fortunately could not spread to humans. Then Preston goes to see Kitum cave and hypothesizes ways Monet and Cardinal could have obtained this virus. Then he visits the Reston Monkey house and concludes that Ebola will be back some day. The strongest point of the book was the chilling disease descriptions that caused the reader to realize that this desease is extremely destructive.

The description of Charles Monet’s death in the first chapter was well placed to show the devastation of the disease right away to interest the reader at the start of the book. The descriptions of crashing and bleeding out impacted me the most and made me realize that this virus that I never heard of before is way more extreme than many I know. Another strength this book has is detailed descriptions of every main character. The detailed description of Monet in Kitum Cave could then be related to when Peter Cardinal went into Kitum cave.

An additional strength is this virus is often compared to AIDS, a disease that most people know is very destructive. Since I did not know about the Ebola or Marburg virus prior to this book, many others who read the book most likely did not either. Statements that explain how AIDs cannot drift across a room but show evidence that Ebola had drifted from one room of caged monkeys with the virus to a different room of the two control monkeys in the experiment, capture attention with the fact of how the filoviruses are more destructive and contagious than the feared AIDS virus.

Another significant strength of the book is the ways the author portrayed emotions. I like his idea of using all capital lets during dialog in extreme situations, like when they found out the disease the monkeys had was Ebola. The author also uses strong characterization to help he reader connect with the characters so the reader feels especially bad for them when something goes wrong or that character get infected with the virus. After hearing about Nurse Mayinga’s hard work to accomplish a dream of getting a scholarship to Europe, it is heartbreaking to see her get sick with Ebola.

Something in the Forest 1. Describe the life of Charles Monet. What were his “hobbies”? 2. Where is Mount Elgon? Describe the surrounding environment. 3. Describe the symptoms experienced by Charles Monet in the days following his visit to Kitum …

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 …

Setting: Mount Elgon, Africa-Where they think the Ebola viruses originated from and spread to the monkeys. Reston Monkey House, Virginia-Where a shipment of monkeys from Africa was sent, soon after the monkeys arrived every monkey came down with the virus. …

Richard Preston’s Hot Zone is a horrific narration of the origin of filoviruses and their encounter with humans. These viruses include Marburg virus (MARV), Ebola virus (EBOV) and Sudan virus (SUDV). They are also known as Biosafety Level 4 agents …

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