Review of the Hot Zone

Topics: Infectious disease, The Hot Zone, Marburg virus Pages: 4 (1278 words) Published: May 1, 2006
Sandra Alexander

The Hot Zone: A Scary Truth
Richard Preston weaves a true tale about a chilling story of an Ebola virus (A disease-causing agent smaller than a bacterium, consisting of a shell made of proteins and membranes and a core containing DNA or RNA. A virus depends on living cells in order to replicate.) outbreak that occurs in a suburban Washington, D.C. laboratory in 1989. In this laboratory, monkeys being used in scientific experiments quickly sicken and die due to a filovirus (A family of viruses that comprises only Ebola and Marburg.). From this introduction, Preston tells about an explosive chain of lethal transmissions (Sore of biological meltdown wherein a lethal infectious agent spreads explosively through a population, killing a large percentage of the population.), which begins far from this Washington, D.C. laboratory and allows the laboratory to become a hot zone (Area that contains lethal, infectious organisms.). In graphic detail, Preston presents a meltdown of a man's body, Charles Monet, which is invaded by a filovirus in a part of the African rain forests that also presents the world with the HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus, the cause of AIDS. It is an emerging Level 2 agent from the rain forests of Africa. Exact origin unknown. Now amplifying globally its ultimate level of penetration into the human species is completely unknown.) virus through the Kinshasa Highway (AIDS highway. The main route by which HIV traveled during its breakout from the central African rain forest. The road loinks Kinshasa, in Zaire, with East Africa.). This becomes the first known index case (First known case in an outbreak of infectious disease. Sometimes spreads the disease widely.) and allows extreme amplification (Multiplication of a virus everywhere in a host, partly transforming the host into virus.) to occur as the virus spreads its billions of replicated copies triggering a chain of lethal transmissions which could ultimately...
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