The Hot Zone Part 2

The book then shifts its focus away from Sudan and Nairobi to the city of Reston, Virgina. There a company has been importing monkeys from the Philippines. Through the import of monkeys a couple of infected monkeys came to Reston. These monkeys were infected by a similar strain as the people in Zaire who were infected with Ebola Zaire. This Ebola Reston dessicated the monkey population within the warehouse and even showed properties of being able to spread through the air. Whether this was just through virus being coughed into the air from the lungs or a even better bioareosol the book does not definitively give an answer. The virus tore through the isolated populations of lab monkeys and spread from room to room, basically wiping out the monkeys. however the warehouse workers even though they were greatly exposed to the virus never broke with Ebola. This was because through some minor alteration of the Ebola strain, Ebola Reston did not affect humans. I thought it was very entertaining how you have multiple strains of Ebola, Sudan, Zaire, Reston, Marburg ect. and they all have different properties that make them more or less lethal to humans. Ebola Zaire kills 9 out of 10 people it affects in a horrible manner, but is not airborne. Ebola Reston kills 9 out of 10 monkeys it affects in a similar manner, is airborne, but does not affect humans. Personifying the virus, Ebola almost feels like its teasing us throughout the book, hinting that it could become catastrophic if it became airborne as well as affected humans. I didnt understand why they did not do a less invasive euthinization of the monkeys, it seemed to me that with some sort of poisonous gas the monkeys could have been killed without the people coming into contact with them. 


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