"The Hot Zone": The Deadly Truth (Book Report on The Hot Zone with quotes)

Essay by jacie_taylorHigh School, 11th gradeA+, September 2006

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In October of 1989, Macaque monkeys, housed at the Reston Primate Quarantine Unit in Reston, Virginia, began dying from a mysterious disease at an alarming rate. The wild monkeys, imported from the Philippines, were to be sold as laboratory animals. Two were dead upon arrival, and twenty-nine of a shipment of one hundred died within a month. Dan Dalgard, the veterinarian who cared for the monkeys, feared they were dying from Simian Hemorrhagic Fever, a disease lethal to monkeys, but harmless to humans. Dr. Dalgard decided to enlist the aid of the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) to help diagnose the cause. On November 18, Dr. Peter Jahlring, of USAMRIID was in his lab testing a virus culture from the monkeys and much to his horror, the blood tested positive for the deadly Ebola Zaire virus... Or so he thought. Later, scientists at the USAMRIID found that it wasn't Zaire, but in fact a new strain of Ebola, which they named Ebola Reston.

This was added to the list of strains: Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan, and now, Ebola Reston, which are all lethal level four viruses that have no vaccines.

This is the story that Richard Preston composed into the novel, "The Hot Zone". My favorite elements of the book are the descriptions and the story behind the virus. It gives me a sense of background and makes the story a little more personal; like it could happen to me. I also (grossly enough) am fascinated by the descriptions of the people dying from the virus. When victims "crash and bleed" it means the virus has attacked every organ in the body by transforming it into a slime saturated with viruses. Also, bowels open up and vent blood accompanied by a sound of bed...