The Hot Zone

Better Essays
The Hot Zone Summary | Part 1, Chapter 1 Something in the Forest Summary

Chapter one introduces the reader to Charles Monet. He is a French expatriate working on a sugar plantation in western Kenya. The story begins on New Year's Day, 1980, when Charles and a woman take an overnight trip to Mount Elgon, a formerly active volcano. During their trip, they visit Kitum Cave.

After returning to his quiet life, Monet becomes ill. The reader knows that he is experiencing a catastrophic illness, but Charles and those who treat him are unaware of how serious it truly is. He experiences headaches and backaches for several days before spiking a fever and vomiting violently for a long period of time. His eyes turn red, his face becomes
…show more content…
The author also creates an effective atmosphere of fear by showing that doctors, who are almost always viewed as being superhuman, can so easily contract this virus.

The Hot Zone Summary | Part 1, Chapter 3 Diagnosis Summary

Several years later, the author visits with Dr. David Silverstein, who has gained a huge reputation in Nairobi. Silverstein relates a 2 a.m. phone call that informed him that Dr. Musoke's blood tested positive for Marburg, a virus about which little is known. It was named after a town in Germany where, in 1967, citizens contracted the virus from monkeys transported from Uganda to a local laboratory. Many of the monkeys had been brought in by a trader who was more interested in money than the health of the animals.

The virus is different from most because rather than being ball-shaped, it is a filovirus, or has tendrils like hair or worms that tangle together. They can also roll up into loops, a very unique trait. The other well-known filovirus is Ebola. Marburg kills one in four humans who receive medical treatment and is so dangerous that the international community immediately tries to identify the source. The best they can do is to hypothesize that it was a "hot" island in western Africa populated by sick monkeys that were trapped and sold in other countries. This is also a popular theory about the origin of HIV and AIDS. The viruses mutate enough to spread from monkeys to humans and can have a catastrophic effect.
Get Access