The Hot Zone: Evidence-Based Study of Ebola Virus’ Origins
Summer is when we all take a break from school and we relax and enjoy the time off school, but knew that a high schooler would be hooked on two books that is assigned to be read over the summer. The first book is The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus. The setting of the book begins in a monkey hospital in Reston, Virginia in the early years of 1980s. Richard Preston traces the real events following up to the deadly Ebola virus outbreak. The second book is The Family that Couldn’t Sleep: a Medical Mystery. The book is about an Italian family that has been plagued for at least 200 years by an incredible and unique hereditary disorder that kills the ability of the brain to fall asleep, and many other interesting stories.
The beginning of The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus is designed like an entrance to an extremely toxic and dangerous lab. The setting of the novel begins in Kenya in the year 1980. Richard Preston, the author, explains about his witness and his feeling towards the loss of Charles Monet, a French expatriate who was killed because of the Marburg virus. Preston describes in great depth about the symptoms of the virus that took over Charles Monet, almost scaring away the readers. Richard Preston also explained that the virus was ready to take over the world and it was the strongest predator out there. Then he gives information about the first Marburg virus incident at a vaccine facility in the year 1967 in Marburg, Germany. The book then goes on and discusses outbreaks that began four years before Monet’s death. First, Preston tells an event of the Ebola virus that first struck a life of a peaceful storekeeper named Eugene. The story then changes to an even more terrible event of the Ebola Zaire, which came like a storm in dozens of towns because of the use of dirty needles in a medical clinic. Both of these events lead up to having hundreds of people dropping like flies. Preston also explained that several American researchers and navy officers invest their lives protecting people from the virus. They would wear space suits and studying hot agents in the midst of the medical outbreaks. Despite the risks with dealing with these deadly bacteria, people strive to understand as much as possible about the disease. Their ultimate goal was to make a cure or medicine for Eboa. Peston is labeled a ‘hot zone’ and a team of the SWAT industry is responsible for placing hundreds of monkeys into a building and collecting blood and tissue samples for future studies. The operation is full of near-death disasters: a woman’s space suits slowdowns while she is in a heavily contaminated room; exposing her to the virus, an infected monkey escapes from its cage, and a scientist was almost bitten by a monkey who is not properly anesthetized. Eventually in the end, all the monkeys are killed by the squad and the plants were totally disinfected. The type of Ebola, known as Ebola Reston, was later reported to be dangerously harmful to monkeys, but it isn’t deadly to humans and it doesn’t show any symptoms that one has the Ebola Reston. At the end of the book, Richard tours the Kitum Cave. In the beginning of the book, Kitum Cave was a tourist place in Kenya that was popular before the Marburg virus took over two tourists. Richard chose to travel to Kenya not only to investigate any potential causes of the Ebola disease, but he went to stay at the place where the Hot Zone tale ended.
The Family that Couldn’t Sleep is about a rich venetian household has struggled for two hundred years from an inherited disease that attacks the middle-aged participants, taking away their sleep and chewing openings in their heads, and destroying their life in a couple of months. There are many other stories that Max tells about in the book. There is one story that is about a native tribe in Papua New Guinea that is almost completely destroyed by a disease cause uncontrollable laughter. Millions of sheep are scratching and scraping their fur loose all across Europe and they continue to do so until they collapse and die. In England, in the milking parlors, cows are attacking their owners, and in the American West, thousands of deer are dying in the grass-filled fields. The root problem of all these stories is to be known as prions. Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a group of unusual neurological developmental illnesses that influence people and animals alike. (“Prion Diseases | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/prions/index.html.) What is even more bizarre and scary is that prions are almost difficult to kill because they nonexistent and they don’t have a DNA. The illnesses that they are carry are now expanding throughout the globe. These two books were heavily based on science some of the words that the authors used were very complicated to understand. Both of the books were very interesting and will keep readers on their tippy toes. The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus and The Family that Couldn’t Sleep: a Medical Mystery is both nonfiction, but the deeper you read into the book, the more the books seems fictional.
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