The Hot Zone Part 3

What did you think about the reading?

I thought this part of the book was a lot more intense than the others. It gives a play by play account of the mission into the Reston Monkey House. Many parts of the military mission were very scary like the loose monkey and the alive one while the soldiers were blood testing. I thought the effect of the virus on humans versus the one on monkeys was quite puzzling. Because Ebola Zaire and Ebola Reston are so similar in shape and form it could be inferred that they both have the same effects but instead Reston only kills monkeys. This is a relief but also a scary circumstance because it is hard to tell them apart. I found the way they nuked the monkey house with the Sunbeam really cool because I didn’t know such technology existed that could wipeout all forms of live from an area in just three days. They also gave more insight on the Slammer which seems like a very extreme moderately cruel facility because of the fact that they lock people up for sometimes months when most of the people there aren’t really even sick. 

What did you learn?

I learned more about the precautions taken when there is an outbreak of a disease or virus. I also learned more on the way Ebola can change forms and adapt to the organism that posses it. I learned about the seven proteins that make up the Ebolas and that four of those are unknown. I also understood more on the way Ebola uses the lungs of an organism to adapt to a species.

What questions do you still have?

I still want to know about the origins of the virus and the mystery of the Kitum Cave. I also want to know more on the Ebola Reston and if it ever adapts to harm humans just like the Zaire. I’m still curious on the contagiousness of the virus because some people take so much precaution like at the Monkey House and the lab but other times like with Dr. McCormick they don’t take any precautions and don’t end up catching the virus either.

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2 thoughts on “The Hot Zone Part 3

  1. I agree with you that Kitum cave and its function in the novel is an interesting concept. I don’t think Ebola Reston evolves to harm humans for the simple fact that it has already adapted to only infect monkeys and has not become active in humans for a long time (as mentioned in the novel). I believe that the precautions taken in the monkey house were adequate as Ebola Reston is still a dangerous pathogen in monkeys and should be treated with the same care as if it were harmful to humans in order to prevent its outbreak in the monkey population. Anyway, it causes flu-like symptoms and is easily caught. I wouldn’t see why the team wouldn’t take precautions in order to avoid something simply because it is not deadly.

  2. I”m also a bit skeptical on how Dr.McCormick didn’t catch the virus in the lab. If he didn’t catch anything in the lab it makes everyone else in Reston look a bit foolish for taking such precautions, but of course they weren’t aware of the situation. Also, earlier in the novel the doctors who treated the patients with Ebola Zaire got infected pretty quickly. It just goes to show you that hot agents are unpredictable and we are handling something we know very little about.

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