The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone

Although through much of The Hot Zone Richard Preston functions as a kind of disembodied third-person narrator, in the final section of the book, he becomes a character in his own right. In deciding to visit Kitum Cave in full spacesuit gear, Preston displays his own human curiosity and his dedication to his research. After visiting both the cave and the Reston Primate Quarantine Unit, he develops an even more personal relationship to his work, realizing how fragile his own life is, and how easily the human race could be decimated by a virus such as Ebola.

Richard Preston Quotes in The Hot Zone

The The Hot Zone quotes below are all either spoken by Richard Preston or refer to Richard Preston. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of The Hot Zone published in 1999.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

[S]omething was making copies of itself inside Monet. A life form had acquired Charles Monet as a host, and it was replicating.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker), Charles Monet
Related Symbols: Mount Elgon and Kitum Cave
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1, Chapter 3 Quotes

When you begin probing into the origins of AIDS and Marburg, light fails and things go dark, but you sense hidden connections. Both viruses seem part of a pattern.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Related Symbols: Kinshasa Highway
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1, Chapter 5 Quotes

Ebola has not yet made a decisive, irreversible breakthrough into the human race, but it seemed close to doing that. It had been emerging in microbreaks here and there in Africa. The worry was that a microbreak would develop into an unstoppable tidal wave. If the virus killed nine out of ten people it infected, and there was no vaccine or cure for it, you could see the possibilities. The possibilities were global.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat

Part 1, Chapter 6 Quotes

They were two human primates carrying another primate. One was the master of the earth, or at least believed himself to be, and the other was a nimble dweller in trees, a cousin of the master of the earth. Both species, the human and the monkey, were in the presence of another life form, which was older and more powerful than either of them, and was a dweller in blood.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

A virus does not “want” to kill its host. That is not in the best interest of the virus, because then the virus may also die, unless it can jump fast enough out of the dying host into a new host.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse

[Nancy] had almost caught Ebola from a dead monkey, who had caught it from a young woman named Mayinga, who had caught it from a nun who had caught it from a nun who had crashed and bled out in the jungles of Zaire in years gone by.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 1, Chapter 7 Quotes

The Ebola virus…retreated to the heart of the bush, where undoubtedly it lives to this day, cycling and cycling in some unknown host, able to shift its shape, able to mutate and become a new thing, with the potential to enter the human species in a new form.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dol

Ebola Zaire attacks every organ and tissue in the human body except skeletal muscle and bone. It is a perfect parasite because it transforms virtually every part of the body into a digested slime of virus particles.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Mr. Preston: Unless you include the feeling generated by gazing into the eyes of a waving confrontational cobra, “fascination” is not what I feel about Ebola. How about shit scared?

Related Characters: Dr. Karl Johnson (speaker), Richard Preston
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 1, Chapter 8 Quotes

Some of the predators that feed on humans have lived on the earth for a long time, far longer than the human race, and their origins go back, it seems, almost to the formation of the planet. When a human being is fed upon and consumed by one of them, especially in Africa, the event is telescoped against horizons of space and time, and takes on a feeling of immense antiquity.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker), Peter Cardinal
Related Symbols: Mount Elgon and Kitum Cave
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pari

Gene felt a prickling sensation on his scalp. The paths of Charles Monet and Peter Cardinal had crossed at only one place on earth, and that was inside Kitum Cave. What had they done in the cave? What had they found in there? What had they touched? What had they breathed? What lived in Kitum Cave?

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker), Eugene (Gene) Johnson (speaker), Charles Monet, Peter Cardinal
Related Symbols: Mount Elgon and Kitum Cave
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 2, Chapter 2 Quotes

[Peter Jahrling] had held in his gloved hands virtually every hot agent known, except for Ebola and Marburg. When people asked him why he didn’t work with those viruses, he replied, “I don’t particularly feel like dying.”

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker), Peter Jahrling (speaker)
Related Symbols: Spacesuits and Gloves
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa

A freezer can be as hot as hell. When a place is biologically hot, no sensors, no alarms, no instruments can tell the story. All instruments are silent and register nothing.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker), Peter Jahrling (speaker)
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 2, Chapter 5 Quotes

He saw virus particles shaped like snakes, in negative images. They were white cobras tangled among themselves, like the hair of Medusa. They were the face of Nature herself, the obscene goddess revealed naked. This life form thing was breathtakingly beautiful. As he stared at it, he found himself being pulled out of the human world into a world where moral boundaries blur and finally dissolve completely. He was lost in wonder and admiration, even though he knew that he was the prey.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker), Thomas Geisbert
Page Number: 149-150
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

C. J. Peters observed the comings and goings at the gas station. It gave him a sense of life and time passing, and he enjoyed the pleasant normality of the scene…What would these people think if they knew what had invaded their town? He had begun to think that the Army might have to act decisively to put out this fire. He had been in Bolivia when a hot agent called Machupo had broken out, and he had seen a young woman die, covered with blood. North America had not yet seen an emergence of an agent that turned into bleeders. North America was not ready for that, not yet. But the possibilities for a huge break of Ebola around Washington were impressive when you thought about it.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker), Colonel Clarence James Peters (C. J.)
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident,

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Part 3, Chapter 1 Quotes

Some of the monkeys that were dying in Room H had become essentially a heap of mush and bones in a skin bag, mixed with huge amounts of amplified virus.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker), Lieutenant Colonel Nancy Jaax
Related Symbols: Blood and Bleeding
Page Number: 229
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu f

Part 3, Chapter 6 Quotes

What on earth was going on with this virus? It killed monkeys like flies, they were dripping virus from every pore, yet no human being had crashed. If the virus wasn’t Ebola Zaire, what was it? And where had it come from?...Something very strange was going on here. Nature had seemed to be closing in on us for a kill, when she suddenly turned her face away and smiled. It was a Mona Lisa smile, the meaning of which no one could figure out.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Page Number: 269
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The monkey house had been sterilized. Ebola had met opposition. For a short while, until life could re-establish itself there, the Reston Primate Quarantine Unit was the only building in the world where nothing lived, nothing at all.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Page Number: 271
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor

Part 4, Chapter 1 Quotes

The paving of Kinshasa Highway affected every person on earth, and turned out to be one of the most important events of the twentieth century. It has already cost at least ten million lives, with the likelihood that the ultimate number of human casualties will vastly exceed the deaths in the Second World War. In effect, I had witnessed a crucial event in the emergence of AIDS, the transformation of a thread of dirt into a ribbon of tar.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Related Symbols: Kinshasa Highway
Page Number: 287
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 4, Chapter 2 Quotes

Say “Ahh,” Kitum Cave. Do you have a virus? No instruments, no senses can tell you if you are in the presence of the predator. I turned off my lights and stood in total darkness, feeling a bath of sweat trickle down my chest, hearing the thump of my heart and the swish of blood in my head.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Related Symbols: Mount Elgon and Kitum Cave, Spacesuits and Gloves, Blood and Bleeding
Page Number: 307
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat

The emergence of AIDS, Ebola, and any number of other rain-forest agents appears to be a natural consequence of the ruin of the tropical biosphere. The emerging viruses are surfacing from ecologically damaged parts of the earth…In a sense, the earth is mounting an immune response against the human species…Perhaps the biosphere does not “like” the idea of five million humans…Nature has interesting ways of balancing itself. The rain forest has its own defenses. The earth’s immune system, so to speak, has recognized the presence of the human species and is starting to kick in. The earth is attempting to rid itself of an infection by the human parasite. Perhaps AIDS is the first step in a natural process of clearance.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Page Number: 311
Explanation and Analysis:

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I suspect that AIDS might not be Nature’s preeminent display of power. Whether the human race can actually maintain a population of five billion or more without a crash with a hot virus remains an open question. Unanswered. The answer lies hidden in the labyrinth of tropical ecosystems. AIDS is the revenge of the rain forest. It may only be the beginning.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Page Number: 312
Explanation and Analysis:

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Life had reestablished itself in the monkey house. Ebola had risen in these rooms, flashed its colors, fed, and subsided into the forest. It will be back.

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker)
Page Number: 314
Explanation and Analysis:

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Richard Preston Character Timeline in The Hot Zone

The timeline below shows where the character Richard Preston 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
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Richard Preston, the author of the book, goes on a brief digression, relating how difficult it is... (full context)
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...the Kinshasa Highway, a new road that spans much of the width of Africa. HIV, Preston explains, is a dangerous but not particularly infective Biosafety Level 2 agent, meaning that it... (full context)
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Moving back to Monet, Preston describes the man’s routine, in which he works during the week and explores nearby forests... (full context)
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Describing Monet’s walk to work, Preston moves on to describe Mount Elgon, which looms above the surrounding landscape. He recounts how... (full context)
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...he invites one of his friends to go camping on Mount Elgon with him, but (Preston tells us) no one can now remember her name. (full context)
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...his friend drive to a cliff called Endebess Bluff on the side of Mount Elgon. Preston observes that the volcanic dust there is as red as blood. He adds that Mount... (full context)
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...by Cape buffalo. Above them looms the Elgon forest, huge, menacing, and full of wildlife. Preston lists the kinds of life forms and plants that the forest contains, and finishes by... (full context)
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...moves in during the afternoon, and Monet and his friend stay in their tent (with Preston speculating that perhaps they have sex). Afterwards, on New Year’s Eve, they build a fire,... (full context)
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...as they can and then following elephant trails (while staying away from dangerous Cape buffalo). Preston takes the opportunity to describe the cave, which is filled with animals, including elephants, who... (full context)
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As Monet and his friend explore, Preston speculates about where their vacation went wrong—perhaps Monet pricked his finger on a crystal. He... (full context)
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Preston reveals that Monet’s friend resurfaced years after this incident. While working as a prostitute in... (full context)
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...send him to board a Kenya Airways plane. “A hot virus from the rain forest,” Preston warns, “lives within a twenty-four-hour plane flight from every city on earth,” because of an... (full context)
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As Monet’s plane, full of passengers, flies towards Nairobi, Preston describes the landscape beneath it. They pass plantations and villages, and Preston reminds readers that... (full context)
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Preston explains that the virus has now saturated Monet’s body in a process called “extreme amplification.”... (full context)
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Monet falls asleep, and Preston again describes the landscape, from the afternoon sun on the valley to the national park... (full context)
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...blood pools around him, other people move away and a doctor is summoned. The virus, Preston relates, has “destroyed its host” and is attempting to find another. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3: Diagnosis
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Preston describes the effects of Marburg on the human body, likening it to “nuclear radiation.” It... (full context)
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In 1982, an English veterinarian whom Preston calls Mr. Jones reveals that at the time of the Marburg outbreak, he was inspecting... (full context)
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Preston compares Mr. Jones’s experience of Marburg to “a flashlight pointed down a dark hole,” giving... (full context)
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Preston goes on to mention a nearby fishing village called Kasensero, one of the origin points... (full context)
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...writing, he is one of the foremost doctors at Nairobi Hospital. In an interview with Preston, he relates that he remembers only shreds of his time while infected with Marburg. No... (full context)
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Preston, however, does not draw an optimistic conclusion from this outcome. He explains that when a... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4: A Woman and a Soldier
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Preston now sets the scene in Thurmont, Maryland, on September 25, 1983—four years after Charles Monet... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5: Project Ebola
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...4 biocontainment area, where she intends to see what has happened to “the Ebola monkeys.” Preston explains the setup of USAMRIID’s biocontainment system, which creates negative air pressure to keep diseases... (full context)
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Preston briefly digresses, introducing the Ebola River, where Ebola Zaire first originated in September 1976, erupting... (full context)
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Explaining the theory of microbreaks, Preston introduces the worry that Ebola will one day become an epidemic. Gene Johnson calls Ebola... (full context)
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...and Tony prepare to enter Level 4, which is covered in a giant biohazard warning. Preston calls the Level 4 air lock a “gray area…where the hot zone touches the normal... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: Total Immersion
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The monkeys, Preston relates, have been injected with a specific type of Ebola Zaire known as the Mayinga... (full context)
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...wakes up and bites her. As the two maneuver the monkey into a biohazard container, Preston notes the kinship between human “master[s] of the earth” and monkeys. He contrasts both primates... (full context)
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Preston describes the anatomy of a virus, “a small capsule made of membranes and proteins” that... (full context)
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Preston relates that Gene Johnson’s Ebola experiments were unsuccessful because he was never able to find... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7: Ebola River
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...a town called Nzara, a product of the “human population explosion” of the twentieth century. Preston calls attention to the beauty and diversity of the landscape, which changes from savanna to... (full context)
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Preston explains that while being fatal to its host is not in the best interest of... (full context)
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The Sudan strain, Preston explains, is more than twice as lethal as Marburg, meaning it kills about 50% of... (full context)
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...as lethal as Ebola Sudan. Although no one knows who the first human case was, Preston asserts that it was likely someone who ate meat from an animal infected by the... (full context)
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Preston describes the effects of Ebola Zaire, which “attacks every organ and tissue in the human... (full context)
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...facility, the Mama Yemo Hospital—it is unclear why she didn’t return to Ngaliema Hospital, but Preston speculates that it was “a case of psychological denial.” It was a crowded building, packed... (full context)
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...aficionado in Montana, who does a great deal of consulting work on global health issues. Preston tries several times to contact him, and finally receives a response via fax, in which... (full context)
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Preston visits Karl Johnson and the two go fly-fishing together. Johnson discusses his trip to Kinshasa,... (full context)
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...ward, which was filled with bloody syringes, and the corpses of infected women and fetuses. Preston takes a moment to describe the beauty of the surrounding landscape before recounting the team’s... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8: Cardinal
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Preston gives us background on the Cardinal family, which had recently taken a vacation in Kenya.... (full context)
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Preston meets David Silverstein in a coffee shop to learn more about Peter Cardinal. Silverstein describes... (full context)
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Preston compares hot viruses to predators, describing the moment when a lion attacks a zebra on... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9: Going Deep
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Preston visits Gene Johnson near Fort Detrick. The scientist recounts his discovery that Peter Cardinal and... (full context)
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...the cave—a terrible disappointment for Gene Johnson. Despite the apparent waste of the expedition, however, Preston suggests that Johnson’s knowledge and experience may still be useful in the future. He stores... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1: Reston
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...Strong creatures with sharp canines and human-like hands, they tend to be mistrustful of humans. Preston describes their life in the wild, from their ability to catch crabs in the river... (full context)
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Preston introduces Bill Volt, the Reston monkey house manager. On October 1st he calls Dan Dalgard... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3: Exposure
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Preston introduces readers to a trainee at USAMRIID called Thomas Geisbert, who operates the Institute’s electron... (full context)
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...separate out the different kinds of cells, and then sets off on his hunting trip. Preston mentions that when a filovirus takes residence in a human host, its incubation period lasts... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5: Medusa
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...prey. He is also awed by what the virus has done to the cell, which Preston describes as “a chocolate-chip cookie that was mostly chocolate chips”—the “chips” in question being viral... (full context)
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Preston explains the term “inclusion bodies,” which are masses of viral particles that form brick-shaped structures,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10: Space Walk
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Preston takes a moment to note that when most organisms die, they are never able to... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11: Shoot-Out
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...a nervous Dalgard explains the symptoms that he has observed. After this, Joe McCormick speaks. Preston explains that the Army people in the room find his words condescending and dismissive, while... (full context)
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Preston recounts the history of conflict between the Army and Joe McCormick, who had in the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13: Reconaissance
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...also notices that the monkeys have their canine teeth, making them all the more dangerous. Preston notes that a six-foot-tall man and a ten-pound monkey “are pretty evenly matched in a... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1: Insertion
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...rinse the blood off of their gloves frequently in order to spot holes or tears. Preston notes that these types of suits have a battery life of six hours—after that, the... (full context)
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...the nearby daycare, the team exits the hot zone in pairs, looking pale and weak. Preston notes that the wind is strong and cold, and that Jarvis Purdy is resting comfortably... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 3: Tangos
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Preston outlines the new plan: Jerry is going to have to go back into the monkey... (full context)
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Preston explains that the Army does not consider this work hazardous, because the spacesuit should act... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 4: Inside
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...other side of the building. Had they only pointed their video cameras towards a window, Preston speculates, they would have gotten video of “soldiers in spacesuits smeared in Ebola blood engaged... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 6: Decon
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...where monkeys have been dying in large quantities but no human fatalities have been reported. Preston comments on the strange and mysterious ways of nature. (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 7: The Most Dangerous Strain
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General Russell reveals to Preston that he was even more terrified of Ebola after the mission was over, when he... (full context)
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Preston goes to visit Nancy Jaax. She offers to show him Ebola, and he looks at... (full context)
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...the principal scientist at USAMRIID—name the new virus Ebola Reston. In Jahrling’s office, Geisbert and Preston compare Zaire to Reston and wonder why Zaire is hot in humans while Reston is... (full context)
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Preston sums up what’s happened: Marburg, Ebola Sudan, and Ebola Zaire have been joined by a... (full context)
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Preston next contemplates why Reston supposedly comes from Asia while Zaire comes from Africa. The most... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 1: Highway
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It is August 1993. Preston describes the road to Mount Elgon, which runs from the Kenyan highlands to the Rift... (full context)
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Preston is currently driving along a bumpy road in a Land Rover along with an intrepid... (full context)
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Preston explains that “Robin MacDonald is a professional hunter and safari guide.” He is also the... (full context)
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...the Masai have been raiding an ethnic group called the Bukusu. Robin, however, has assured Preston that they will be relatively safe on their journey. Robin questions Preston about the reasons... (full context)
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Preston describes the restaurants and small hotels that they pass along the way, many of which... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 2: Camp
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Preston introduces us to Robin’s wife and business partner, Carrie MacDonald, who often travels along with... (full context)
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...dinner, and observe a Cape buffalo watching them. Robin wanders down to the stream with Preston and tells him a story about fishing for crocodiles. They observe an armed guard named... (full context)
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The men continue exploring, observing many animals, including a rodent called a hyrax that Preston notes might be a carrier of Marburg. He describes the forest around the mountain—“one of... (full context)
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...does the smell of bats. Nettles sting their legs and insects fly in their faces. Preston observes that either nettles or insects could be the hosts. They stop by an elephant... (full context)
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At the mouth of the cave, Preston assembles his gear. He does not have the kind of pressurized spacesuit that USAMRIID uses—instead,... (full context)
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Preston enters the huge mouth of Kitum Cave and walks across a floor covered in bat... (full context)
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As a side note, Preston explains that Tom Geisbert once did an experiment on Marburg to see how long it... (full context)
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Preston reaches the top of a mound in Kitum Cave and puts his hand on the... (full context)
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When Preston emerges from Kitum Cave, the afternoon rains have come. Fred Grant welcomes him back, and... (full context)
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...they drink scotch and beer and play poker as night falls. Robin MacDonald playfully asks Preston if he’s experiencing any “mental symptoms.” Preston privately relates that he’s already begun to obsess... (full context)
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Preston asserts that “the emergence of AIDS, Ebola, and any number of other rain-forest agents appears... (full context)
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Preston calls AIDS “the worst environmental disaster of the twentieth century.” He explains that HIV most... (full context)
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Preston remembers reassuring himself after leaving Kitum Cave, but also knows that there is an incubation... (full context)
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On a warm day in autumn Preston drives out to visit the monkey house. The door is locked, with shreds of duct... (full context)