Preston Hot Zone

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Preston's Hot Zone

Imagine walking into a tiny village in Africa, suffering and dying from some unknown virus. As you approach the huts you hear the wails of pure agony from the afflicted tribe members. Coming closer, you smell the stench of vomit mixed with the bitter smell of warm blood. People inside lay dying in pools of their own vital fluids, coughing and vomiting up their own liquefied internal organs; their faces emotionless masks loosely hanging from their skulls, the connective tissue and collagen in their bodies turned to mush. Their skin bubbled up into a sea of tiny white blisters and spontaneous rips occurring at the slightest touch, pouring blood that refuses to coagulate. Hemmorging and massive clotting underneath the skin causing black and blue bruises all over the body. Their mouths bleeding around their teeth from hemorrhaging saliva glands and the sloughing off of their own tongues, throat lining, and wind pipe, crying tears of pure blood from hemorrhaging tear ducts and the disintegration of the eyeball lining and bleeding from every opening on the body. You see the blood spattered room and pools of black vomit, expelled during the epileptic convulsions that accompany the last stages of death. Their hearts have bled into themselves, heart muscles softened and hemorrhaging , the brain clogged with dead blood cells (sludging of the brain), the liver bulging and yellow with deep cracks and the spleen a single hard blood clot. Babies with bloody noses born with red eyes lay dead from spontaneous abortions of affected mothers. It is the human slate-wiper, the invisible ultimate death, the filovirus named Ebola.
The theme of Richard Preston's Hot Zone seems deal with man's one predator, the invisible one, the one thing that man cannot seek out and conquer, the one that lurks unseen and undetected in the shadows waiting for a warm body to make its new breeding ground in, with total disregard for person, social class, or status. We are "meat", as the biologists at the USAMRIID Institute stated, no names, no faces, no "individuality", the virus rips through our bodies with no thought, mechanical reproducers who sabotage our cells and used them as incubators until their "offspring" replicate to the point the cell wall bursts, releasing hundreds of new virus particles. Literally thousands of these "killers", as humans see them can be held on the point of an ink pen.

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