The Hot Zone Summary

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When I came across the description for The Hot Zone by Richard Preston, I suddenly became interested in the lethality of certain diseases. Imagine a highly infectious virus with a mortality rate from anywhere between fifty to ninety percent and that its victims suffer from liquefying flesh, melting organs, and massive hemorrhaging, essentially bleeding from every orifice of the body. The thought intrigued me, how a particular virus has the frightening potential to wipe out the human race. After reading the summary, I had a desire to learn more, so I chose this book. As for taking AP World History, I needed a viewpoint on exactly what an AP course is like. Additionally, starting off with a challenging class will help make me more responsible…show more content…
I discovered that only a few decades ago, East Africa was plagued with an alien filovirus that eventually manifested itself in the U.S. capital. As a result, federal forces had to handle the delicate monkey house situation without attracting much attention from the media and in the process courageous soldiers and scientists had risked their lives attempting to quarantine it. Their mission was successful and in the end the monkeys were all brought to the USAMRIID labs for further research on Ebola and its cousins. In addition, Preston’s analytical comparison between the origins of AIDS and Ebola unveiled a potential connection that could explain the diseases’ outbreaks in modern society. The majority, if not all, of the information I learned about the history of fatal viruses has come from reading The Hot…show more content…
By dramatizing the symptoms, exhibiting Ebola as a gruesome disease that is inherently African, using military metaphors, and comparing it to AIDS, media and popular culture misinterpret Ebola as a disease far more dreadful than it actually is. For example, Preston describes Charles Monet with the Marburg virus, similar to the Ebola virus, as “a human virus bomb” (Preston 21). When Monet begins to hemorrhage excessively in the middle of a hospital emergency room, Preston describes the last phase of the disease: “the biological bomb explodes” (Preston 23). In this context, the author’s use of military metaphors such as the word “bomb” and “explode” provoke unnecessary fear towards Ebola. Furthermore, Charles Monet is the only documented case of undergoing these impulsive symptoms; it is irrational to determine how a disease functions based on just one erratic case. Overall, the factual evidence and recollection of most events are

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