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The Hot Zone

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The Hot Zone

By Richard Preston

Nine out of ten victims that become infected with the Ebola Zaire virus die a quick and gruesome death. It is an extremely contagious, airborne disease, and in 1989 the city of Washington D.C. was nearly exposed to it. The Hot Zone also describes related viruses including Marburg and Ebola Sudan. All of these viruses have an extremely high kill rate with horrifying and disgusting effects on the human body. Suddenly monkeys start dying from a highly infectious virus that turns out being Ebola Zaire.

The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases is contacted to contain the virus. They quarantine the monkeys to contain the virus. Teams of virologists, veterinarians, physicians, and technicians work together to isolate the virus, euthanize the primates, and kill all life within the building. I think the government and the monkey holding facility did the right thing to euthanize the infected monkeys and get rid of the deadly disease as quickly and drastically as possible.

Considering this happened a few years ago I can definitely see the possibility of it happening again. Hopefully the government has implemented a plan that is preventing this from happening since

we were so close what would be a deadly outbreak of the disease. I can imagine us having the technology to easily test primates coming into our country for diseases like Marburg and Ebola.

The Hot Zone was certainly an eye-opening book. It taught me what gruesome and horrifying symptoms diseases like Marburg and Ebola can do to a human being and how easily and outbreak could occur. Richard Preston did an amazing job of illustrating that in the novel. He went in depth as he traced the virus through many victims until the outbreak occurred. I enjoyed this novel and recommend it to anyone interested and diseases and what they can do to the human body.



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