The Hot Zone | Study Guide

Richard Preston

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Course Hero. "The Hot Zone Study Guide." May 17, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2019. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Hot-Zone/.

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Course Hero, "The Hot Zone Study Guide," May 17, 2019, accessed June 17, 2019, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Hot-Zone/.

Overview

Author

Richard Preston

Year Published

1995

Type

Nonfiction

Genre

Horror, Nonfiction, Science

At a Glance

Richard Preston wrote The Hot Zone to examine the mysterious origins of the Marburg and Ebola viruses in Africa, particularly Kitum Cave on Mount Elgon, where two people became infected with Marburg. He details the work of scientists and researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the U.S. Army institute that focuses on Level 4 hot viruses (agents for which there is no cure that cause severe symptoms and death in humans). Preston also describes the events of an Ebola outbreak at a research facility in Virginia, as well as the collaborative efforts of different government agencies to keep the virus contained. Sporadic outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg, as well as other diseases such as the West Nile virus, avian influenza, and SARS, have continued to occur throughout the last 25 years. Thus Preston's work remains relevant in the 21st century.

About the Title

The Hot Zone refers to the places where hot viruses (agents for which there is no cure that cause severe symptoms and death in humans) such as Marburg and Ebola live, particularly at the Biosafety Level 4 lab of the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). When scientists call something a hot zone, it means extreme caution and safety measures must be taken to prevent infection from a potentially lethal virus.

Summary

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