Assignment 2 – Hot Zone Part 1

What did you think of the reading?

Simply put, the book is extremely thought provoking. It makes me want to research more about Ebola and Marburg. I have become so curious about the topic and if I weren’t against spoilers I would want to find out what happened right away. The author was extremely vivid with the descriptions of the infected, which was VERY disturbing. I actually had to put the book down at the beginning from the strong descriptions. I would have never thought of reading a science related, but this book is fascinating. I can’t wait to continue reading.

What did you learn?

Before reading this book I only knew the basics of the Ebola virus from what we learned in my Biology Honors class. The author even admits that most people had no idea about the Ebola and Marburg virus while it was in Africa. Throughout reading Part 1 of the book, I have learned more about the Ebola virus and its origins. The symptoms and reactions of an infected person have been imprinted in my brain from all the times they were repeated, and I’m pretty confident in myself in being able to identify someone with Ebola or Marburg. Through reading this book, I am able to more clearly comprehend how scientists and doctors go through with experiments and attempts to research and discover new viruses. Other than the scientific aspects of what I learned, I was also surprised to know that a large amount of the Ebola and Marburg research came from governmental/military organizations. I knew that the military researched biological weapons hazards, but never did I know that they research public diseases and attempt to find their cures.

What questions do you still have?

The first question that comes to mind, and is more of a suspenseful part of the book, is: What causes Marburg. It was very disappointing to know that even after they made it to Kitum cave they were unable to find the cause. I’m also wondering how far the Marburg and Ebola virus date back to infecting humans and what civilizations it affected. Many African civilizations dating thousands of years ago have disappeared mysteriously with no known cause. I am starting to wonder if there is a connection between the two. Finally, I am most curious to know whether or not Ebola and Marburg are still rampant in Africa.

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