The Hot Zone

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Syringes and Needles Symbol Icon
Syringes and needles are a powerful and double-edged symbol within The Hot Zone. On one hand, they can deliver life-saving medicine quickly and effectively. On the other hand, a contaminated syringe is incredibly dangerous, and can infect doctors and other healthcare professionals with the very diseases they are fighting against. Near the climax of The Hot Zone, syringes and needles also become tools of death, as the soldiers headed by Jerry Jaax use them to lethally inject the Ebola-infected monkeys in Reston. Syringes and needles thus represent the simultaneous benefits and dangers of human technology.
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Syringes and Needles Symbol Timeline in The Hot Zone

The timeline below shows where the symbol Syringes and Needles appears in The Hot Zone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1: Something in the Forest
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
...by ash during Mount Elgon’s formation. Around the petrified logs are crystals “sharp as hypodermic needles.” (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2: Jumper
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris  Theme Icon
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...give his patient a blood transfusion, Monet’s veins fall apart at the touch of a needle, and blood runs down his arms. All the while, he continues to hemorrhage from his... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7: Ebola River
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris  Theme Icon
...hospital in a town called Maridi, where the medical staff has not been sterilizing its needles. There, patients, doctors, and family members all begin to die. Many of the victims experience... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris  Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...conditions in this clinic, however, were highly unsafe, with the nuns using only five hypodermic needles to give injections to hundreds of patients throughout the day, and rinsing them occasionally in... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
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Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris  Theme Icon
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Because of the use of these needles, the virus spread almost instantaneously to fifty-five villages close to the hospital. It killed those... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
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Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris  Theme Icon
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...attempted to sterilize every room except for the maternity ward, which was filled with bloody syringes, and the corpses of infected women and fetuses. Preston takes a moment to describe the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11: Shoot-Out
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Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris  Theme Icon
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...woman in the midst of a seizure, McCormick jabbed his own thumb with a bloody needle. Knowing that he had been exposed, he decided to stay in the hut and help... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13: Reconaissance
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...asks the women whether anyone has cut themselves on glass or stuck themselves with a needle, and no one comes forward. She reassures the employees that they will be alright. (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1: Insertion
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...Institute. Gene Johnson is already there with his gear from Kitum Cave: spacesuits, rubber gloves, needles, dissection tools, flashlights, biohazard bags, and handheld sprayers to decontaminate spacesuits. Meanwhile, the Washington Post... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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Nancy gets into a scrub suit, puts on her spacesuit, gathers boxes of syringes, and goes into the building with Captain Steven Denny. They head into Room H where... (full context)
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...from Africa to inject them: a pole with a socket on the end for a syringe. It is also necessary to hold the monkeys down as the needle comes towards them,... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 3: Tangos
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris  Theme Icon
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...who is worried about the “kids.” He recalls when he stuck himself with a bloody needle from a mouse that might have had Lassa virus while working in Zaire. The Army... (full context)
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Other members of the team spend time in the staging room fitting syringes with needles and readying them to be filled with drugs. Captain Mark Haines gets into... (full context)
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...monkey is overpowering, but the air is deadly quiet. Jerry Jaax orders her to load syringes with double doses of ketamine. Meanwhile, he waits as Sergeant Amen pins a monkey down,... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 4: Inside
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...the all-clear. They walk to the woods near the building, and find two used hypodermic needles lying on the ground. No one knows how they got there. Eventually safety people put... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 5: A Bad Day
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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...set up chairs in a semicircle for soldiers to take rest breaks while filling up syringes. Just as Jerry is about to take a break from working in Room C, he... (full context)
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...up on euthanasia duty with Major Nate Powell. It is her job to plunge a needle into the monkey’s heart, instantly killing it. When she pulls the needle out, blood spurts... (full context)
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...monkeys. As she does so, one of the monkeys wakes up—it goes to pull the needle out of its leg before trying to bite Rhonda. Captain Haines pins the monkey down... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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...deserted corridor of the monkey house. Suddenly the escaped monkey comes towards her, holding a syringe filled with a hot virus. She tries to escape him but her spacesuit slows her... (full context)