The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone

Blood and Bleeding Symbol Icon
Blood is yet another multifaceted symbol within The Hot Zone. Although it carries life and nutrients throughout the human body, blood also acts as a carrier of infectious disease. In the case of Ebola, blood is the most dangerous and common way that the virus can be spread. Throughout the book, Ebola-infected blood appears in many different forms—it trickles from victims’ eyes and noses, gushes from infected mothers during miscarriages, and threatens to overflow out of corpses during autopsies. Yet at the same time, despite its danger, infected blood is also the most useful and constructive tool for scientists who hope to study and combat Ebola. On a microscopic level, looking at blood with Ebola in it allows researchers to identify and dissect the virus, and to understand its methods of infection. Blood, therefore, represents the ever-present danger of infection and contamination, but also symbolizes the best hope for eventually stopping the disease.

Blood and Bleeding Quotes in The Hot Zone

The The Hot Zone quotes below all refer to the symbol of Blood and Bleeding. 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 and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of The Hot Zone published in 1999.
Part 3, Chapter 1 Quotes

Be exquisitely careful. Know where your hands and body are at all times. If you get blood on your suit, stop what you are doing and clean it off right away. Don’t let blood stay on your gloves. Rinse them off right away. With bloody gloves, you can’t see a hole in the glove.

Related Characters: Lieutenant Colonel Nancy Jaax (speaker)
Related Symbols: Spacesuits and Gloves, Blood and Bleeding
Page Number: 224
Explanation and Analysis:

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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:

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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:

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Blood and Bleeding Symbol Timeline in The Hot Zone

The timeline below shows where the symbol Blood and Bleeding 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
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
...side of Mount Elgon. Preston observes that the volcanic dust there is as red as blood. He adds that Mount Elgon is a secluded spot, filled with villagers at its base... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
...plane, Monet becomes sick. He vomits continually, and his lips become smeared with bile and blood. His eyes are bright red, while the red spots on his face have melded to... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
...in the waiting room, where he is surrounded by other people, many of whom are bleeding. As Monet waits, he “crashes,” meaning that he begins to hemorrhage. Blood comes gushing from... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2: Jumper
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
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...Shem Musoke, a talented and personable young physician. Musoke arrives as Monet inhales his own blood and stops breathing entirely, immediately falling into a coma. Examining Monet’s eyes, Musoke notices that... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
...is impossible to say why he died because so many things have gone wrong: his blood has clotted, he has hemorrhaged, his liver has dissolved, and his intestines have come apart.... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...Imre Lofler performs exploratory surgery. They find that his liver is swollen and red. His blood refuses to coagulate, so he keeps bleeding during the surgery and blood is everywhere. After... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
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...With his colleagues deeply disturbed about Musoke’s illness, Silverstein begins to test his fellow doctor’s blood for viruses, distilling the liquid down to a gold-colored serum that he then freezes and... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4: A Woman and a Soldier
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
...seals the cut with a Band-Aid. Despite being a veterinarian, Nancy hates the sight of blood, because she knows “what some blood could contain.” Still, she finishes dinner and puts her... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5: Project Ebola
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
...body’s immune system above all (like HIV), acting terrifyingly quickly once Ebola enters the human bloodstream. Scientists do not know exactly how Ebola is passed between people. Originally they believed that... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: Total Immersion
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...type of Ebola Zaire known as the Mayinga strain, because it was found within the blood of a nurse named Mayinga N., who died of the virus in October 1976. After... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
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Gene Johnson, we learn, has been injecting Mayinga’s blood into the monkeys, and then attempting to treat them with various drugs when they fall... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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...reach the cages of the monkeys who have died during the night. Both animals have bloody noses and bright red eyes, and their faces look like masks, due to both soft... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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...both primates with Ebola, an “older and more powerful” life form that can hide within blood. (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
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...blunt), the two open the monkey’s chest cavity, which is described as a “lake of blood,” all of which is highly infectious. Nancy reminds herself to keep her hands slow and... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
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Nancy thinks about how much she hates blood, because of the dangerous viruses it can contain. She also monitors Tony Johnson’s suit to... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...lock, and considers what will happen if she has in fact been exposed to Ebola blood: if this is the case, she will be forced into a sterile government hospital called... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...and realizes with horror that the glove has indeed leaked, meaning that there is Ebola blood all over her innermost glove. Going to a surgical sink, she rinses the blood off... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7: Ebola River
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
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Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
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...to give injections to hundreds of patients throughout the day, and rinsing them occasionally in bloody warm water. The schoolteacher became desperately ill a few days later, although it is unclear... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
...kind of “digested slime of virus particles.” It contains “seven mysterious proteins,” which first create blood clots that, as they grow, cut off blood flow to other parts of the body,... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
...damage from the virus can sometimes lead to epileptic seizures, causing a patient to splatter blood all around them (an excellent way for a virus to jump to a new host).... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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After her death, “Sister M.E.’s hospital room was stained with blood.” Hospital employees refused to clean the room, so it was simply left locked. They did... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
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...she was dying, trying to ascertain her illness, and had also drawn some of her blood. They sent this to a lab in Belgium, and one in England, but not to... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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When the blood arrived, the tubes that held it had cracked, and the box was “sticky with blood.”... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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...had 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... (full context)
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...offered little protection. She tried to care for Mayinga, but was helpless against the infection. Blood gushed from Mayinga’s nose and mouth and her heart began to give out, though she... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8: Cardinal
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In September 1987, Gene Johnson receives a mysterious package from Kenya containing blood from a 10-year-old Danish boy named Peter Cardinal. As Johnson drives to USAMRIID, he doubts... (full context)
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...his skin began to bruise and his pupils to dilate, indicating that his brain was bleeding. His skin began to puff up, meaning that there was bleeding underneath it as well.... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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Back in USAMRIID, Gene Johnson puts Peter Cardinal’s blood into a vial full of monkey cells in order to observe its effect on them.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9: Going Deep
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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...trap hundreds of species of birds, rodents, and bats, dissecting them and taking samples of blood and tissue. They also take blood from the Elgon Masai, the local tribe, as well... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1: Reston
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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...not realize is that the hard, enlarged spleen was in fact full of a giant blood clot. On November 12th, Dan Dalgard returns to the monkey house and finds three more... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2: Into Level 3
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
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...receives frozen samples from O53, wrapped in flimsy aluminum foil. The ice around them is bloody and melting. He takes them into a Level 3 laboratory, which is kept under negative... (full context)
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
...one flask with monkey kidney cells, and does the same thing with O53’s mucus and blood serum. Last, she places the flasks in an incubator and waits to see if anything... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
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...comments, that the place is full of a hot virus. He describes the monkeys’ distorted, bloody bodies within the bags, their faces “expressionless masks.” (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5: Medusa
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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...the cell wall, at which point they disintegrate into threads and move out into the bloodstream. The bricks make the cell bulge and eventually burst. Thomas Geisbert realizes that the granules... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6: The First Angel
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...and Geisbert most likely did not contract the virus, although he decides to test their blood to make sure. He then turns his mind to Dan Dalgard, whose risk of getting... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7: The Second Angel
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...Jahrling works in his spacesuit. He plans to combine samples of the virus with the blood serum of humans who have died of different strains of Ebola. If a combination glows... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10: Space Walk
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...is hard and enlarged, the monkey has no lesions, nor does it appear to have bled excessively. She does find bleeding spots between the stomach and small intestines, but simian hemorrhagic... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11: Shoot-Out
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...later McCormick would describe the sight of a hut filled with Ebola victims, reeking with blood, and scattered with distorted, horrific corpses. Armed only with rubber gloves, a surgical gown, paper... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1: Insertion
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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...the risk of potentially being exposed to Ebola. Last, she reminds them to rinse the blood off of their gloves frequently in order to spot holes or tears. Preston notes that... (full context)
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...anesthetic. After this, Jerry gives them a shot of a sedative. Last, the team takes blood samples from the monkeys and then injects them with a lethal drug called T-61. After... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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...monkeys clearly have Ebola. Their guts are filled with lesions, their intestines are brimming with blood, and they show signs of massive blood clots. Some of the monkeys are so liquefied... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 2: A Man Down
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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...fall into a coma-like state, their eyes glazed. Some even begin to bleed, and their blood pools in metal trays under their cages. (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 3: Tangos
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...to them that they will be combatting an Ebola-like virus, dealing with large amounts of blood, handling sharp objects, and wearing spacesuits. He says that any member of the team can... (full context)
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...Johnson, 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... (full context)
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...observes that many of them seem listless, have runny noses, or even appear to be bleeding, and some are coughing and sneezing. Jerry realizes that the disease has spread over the... (full context)
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...shower with a drain hole—near the front of the building in order to wash out blood. Every time blood goes down the drain, the soldiers pour bleach after it, to ensure... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 4: Inside
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...window, Preston speculates, they would have gotten video of “soldiers in spacesuits smeared in Ebola blood engaged in the first major biohazard mission the world ever knew.” (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 5: A Bad Day
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...the Ebola virus. At last, on December 6th, he is successful. He tests urine and blood samples from Milton Frantig and finds that he does not appear to have Ebola. The... (full context)
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...out to be right, but other monkeys bite the escapee, and soon it is tracking blood throughout the room. Jerry gets on the radio with Gene Johnson, who tells him to... (full context)
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...a needle into the monkey’s heart, instantly killing it. When she pulls the needle out, blood spurts out as well. She makes sure to rinse off her gloves and her spacesuit... (full context)
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Next Rhonda Williams works with Captain Haines at the bleed table, drawing blood from unconscious monkeys. As she does so, one of the monkeys wakes up—it goes to... (full context)
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Jahrling carries slides of his own blood serum into his lab and looks at them under a microscope—if it glows bright green,... (full context)