The Hot Zone

454 Words2 Pages
Gripping Reality There are many challenges, and day-to-day obstacles that may challenge ones comfort zone. Not often can you find a book that challenges that zone. Richard Preston writes a gripping novel, The Hot Zone, about the deadly Ebola virus. Through gripping detail and realism, Preston accomplishes informing the reader, and challenges the comfort zone, about the Ebola virus between 1967 and 1993. Throughout this 26-year time period, several people became infected with Ebola. Preston first introduces a French man, Charles Monet. Monet had a submissive personality, and only seemed to connect with women. Following a climbing trip from Mount Elgon with one of his mistresses, Monet came down with a headache, and died. However a headache was not the only symptoms Monet had. “He leans over head on his knees, and brings up an incredible quality of blood from his stomach and spills it onto the floor. With a gasping groan, he falls unconscious. Then comes a sound like a bed sheet being torn in half, which is the sound for his bowls opening and venting blood”(23). As if this wasn’t a horrifying experience for a man to go through, this was not the beginning, nor the end to this virus. Fighting her way to the top, Lt. Col. Nancy Jaax, worked as a Biosafety Level 4 veterinary pathologist. As Level 4 pathologist, Jaax wore a space-type suit, and worked with extremely lethal airborne viruses. The space suit is the only thing that keeps Jaax safe from these deadly viruses. During the dissection of an Ebola infested monkey, the unthinkable happens. “She glanced down. Her glove. It was drenched in blood, Ebola blood, but now she saw the hole. It was a rip across the palm of the outer glove on her right hand”(87). The reader, and probably even Lt. Col. Nancy Jaax knows the painful, and grotesque death that will soon follow. Preston goes into great detail on each case, causing the reader to cringe at the reality that these cases happened to real people. Even amid today’s technology and medical advances things such as: “He coughs a deep cough and regurgitates something into the bag… his lips are smeared with something slippery and red, mixed with black specks, as if he has been chewing coffee grounds”(17).

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