Summer Reading Essay
The best-selling bio-thriller, The Hot Zone was written by Richard D. Preston in 1994. The book was originally published in New York. It is 422 pages long. It is divided into 4 sections.
The Hot Zone tells a dramatic, chilling and realistic story of an Ebola virus outbreak! It occurs in a monkey storage warehouse in a suburban Washington D. C. laboratory in 1989. Monkeys were being used in scientific experiments because they were most similar to humans and the virus couldn’t tell the difference. This then, allows the lab to become a ‘hot zone’. He becomes very interested in how the viruses work and their symptoms that appear in human beings. He traces the history of the viruses and examines the first couple of cases of them in detail.
The second part of the book titled “The Monkey House” tells the discovery of Ebola Reston Virus in the imported monkeys in Reston, Virginia. This also includes the steps that were taken to disinfect the infested beings.
The third section, “Smashdown” is the climax of the story. Here, the major characters Major Nancy Jaax, Colonel Jerry Jaax, Dan Dalgard, Gene Johnson, and Colonel C J Peters must come across the virus face-to-face in the monkey house. Many main events occur like the destruction of animals, an escape of one monkey and failures in the protective suits worn by personnel.
The fourth section, entitled “Kitum Cave”, signals the conclusion of the story. Here Preston reflects on the origin and spread of AIDS. The Hot Zone highlights the impact of lethal viruses on human and animal population. The main viruses of the hot zone are Marburg and Ebola. These are considered to be ancient and their potential to destroy huge masses is really high, as more and more humans invade on the rain forest. There are well-establish cases in which Ebola and Marburg have been transmitted from caged monkeys to humans. Preston points out in The Hot Zone that the...