( Read Kindle ) é The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus Í eBook or Kindle ePUB free

( Read Kindle ) í The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus Î A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, DC There is no cure In a few dayspercent of its victims are dead A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic hot virus The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their crashes into the human race Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction The subtitle for Richard Preston s 1994 bestseller reads The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus How much you enjoy The Hot Zone might just hinge on what you know about Ebola going in and, by extension, how seriously you take that subtitle To say that Preston took artistic liberties is akin to saying Ayn Rand held only a little contempt for Marxism or that Memento had a tendency to confuse its viewers There can be no doubt that Preston delivered a vivid and hair raising The subtitle for Richard Preston s 1994 bestseller reads The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus How much you enjoy The Hot Zone might just hinge on what you know about Ebola going in and, by extension, how seriously you take that subtitle To say that Preston took artistic liberties is akin to saying Ayn Rand held only a little contempt for Marxism or that Memento had a tendency to confuse its viewers There can be no doubt that Preston delivered a vivid and hair raising thrill ride, a marvelously written if unevenly paced house of horrors, but on balance his book is about as accurate as a Stone age slide rule It might have passed for harmless over sensationalizing, except with the Ebola epidemic in progress and tensions wound tighter than ever, the book has become the bane of disease experts and science communicators working to tamp down the mass hysteria In this case, thankfully, the truth isn t scarier than fiction.The book is structured around four events our first contact in the 1960s with Marburg virus MARV a close cousin to Ebola named for the German city in which it was discovered the earliest recorded outbreak of Ebola Zaire EBOZ in Sudan and DRC formerly Zaire in 1976 the 1989 outbreak of Reston virus RESTV in Northern Virginia and the final act sees Preston donning a biocontainment suit for a solo jaunt in a sub Saharan cave in search of the cagey killer.Preston needs only the space of a few pages to subdue the reader into a state of trepidation I was spooked almost immediately, even knowing it was all a bit light on fact The characters, many of whom are given fictitious names, have blood spurting from every orifice, their insides liquefying, and at one point we read of a nurse weeping tears of blood Such descriptions seem to havein common with the active imagination that goes hand in hand with storytelling than with any viral agent identified to date Preston himself concedes as much in a NY Times interview last month That almost certainly didn t happen OK So there s some exaggeration here and some embellishment there and the 3.5 million copies sold is probably responsible for some of the stateside hysteria But let s not point too much of the blame in one direction An invisible pest that moves from person to person and leaves a high mortality rate in its wake is bound to generate a level of fear, with or without The Hot Zone And when you combine the low science literacy rates in America with its media s penchant for doom mongering and narcissistic over commentary, some version of collective psychosis is all but inevitable Of course, the recent outbreak has sparked renewed interest in the book, and its infidelity to fact doesn t help the situation.In an effort to defuse some of this noise, let s get to know the real Ebola virus, at least what we ve gleaned so far First, some perspective Yes, Ebola is deadly, and international aid groups should be throwing everything they ve got at curbing this latest and greatest outbreak As of 14 November 2014, there have beenthan 14,000 reported cases and over 5,000 confirmed deaths WHO updates this page weekly since it emerged in Guinea one year ago But as a matter of pure numbers, Ebola is a minor player on the pathogen roster Compare those figures with seasonal flu the reason many of your coworkers have been calling in sick recently which infects hundreds of millions and causes 250 500,000 deaths every year including 20,000 in the U.S alone Or norovirus, which infects 267 million people and kills 200,000 annually Hepatitis C is a virus that currently infects 150 million people worldwide, while malaria killsthan 600,000 a year, or about 68 people per hour Even rabies accounts for a steady 69,000 deaths per year Any fear you might have of Ebola should be calibrated against the numbers, which tell us that we re farlikely to die from lightning, a car accident or a plane crash than we are from Ebola.Much of that has to do with Ebola s method of transmission Contrary to what Preston repeatedly suggests in The Hot Zone, Ebola is not transmitted through the air or by respiratory secretions i.e., coughing or sneezing , unlike influenza or SARS Ebola can only be transmitted by direct physical contact with the blood, vomit or feces of an infected person A cough or a sneeze from an Ebola host doesn t contain high enough concentrations of the virus to infect someone nearby because Ebola doesn t aerosolize in the way its airborne counterparts do This explains why the reports keep flowing in of infected healthcare workers they are at the highest risk of infection because they re the ones working with the patients after the incubation period is over and symptoms have surfaced So unless you find yourself in contact with any of these three fluids of an Ebola victim, you have little to worry about.Many have frowned on science for not having a vaccine ready by the truckloads This may sound brusque, but given the differential threat of the other viruses mentioned above, Ebola isn t a top priority We ve seen a total of 32 outbreaks over the last 40 years, and yet none have secured a lasting foothold in humans In contrast, flu and malaria are perennial killers of titanic proportions Moreover, vaccines and antivirals like the experimental ZMapp, which co opts tobacco plants to clone antibodies derived from mice are painstakingly difficult and costly to produce and must be adapted to the rapid pace of evolution In the triage of epidemiological exigency, Ebola s sporadic presence and short fused temperament simply rank lower next to many other human scourges.Its tendency to play hopscotch with the human race is also why there is much we still don t know about Ebola As Level 4 contagions go, it is deceptively simple Were you to ogle it under a microscope, you d see a single strand of RNA that codes for a mere seven proteins, one of which VP24 has been identified as the key facilitator for disrupting the cell signaling processes involved in immune response With the key communication lines cut, Ebola is allowed free rein and overwhelms the host system before antiviral reinforcements have time to interfere.The biochemistry is less opaque than Ebola s origins, however One of the finer points we ve yet to work out is zoonotic provenance in which species did Ebola first arise, and from which host population did it make the jump to us Was it in the direction of apes to humans like HIV, or did it spill over from some other creature whose environment overlaps with ours The favored culprit is Egyptian fruit bats, which are known to carry not only the sister virus Marburg but antibodies to Ebola Even so, it could lurk elsewhere in the wild, biding its time until local conditions pave the way for its reemergence Learning how pathogens jump from one species to another is vitally important to preventing future outbreaks and is a hot topic among research communities today.Closing ThoughtsMuch like this review, the central character of Preston s fan favorite is the omnipresent virus The human characters in the book are poorly developed and ultimately forgettable backdrops which fade in and out as Preston heightens the drama around his lurid replicator that nonhuman other for which he prowls in Kitum Cave You ll get a few interesting bits about life inside a biosafety facility, but for the most part any factual profile on Ebola is swallowed whole by the embroidery and myriad grotesqueries sprinkled in at the expense of navigating acareful line between fiction and reality Take The Hot Zone for what it is a high speed medical mystery thriller meant to make you tremble at the raw power of nature In a sense, the earth is mounting an immune response against the human species It is beginning to react to the human parasite, the flooding infection of people, the dead spots of concrete all over the planet, the cancerous rot outs in Europe, Japan, and the United States, thick with replicating primates, the colonies enlarging and spreading and threatening to shock the biosphere with mass extinctions Perhaps the biosphere does not like the idea of five billion humans Or it could also be said that the extreme amplification of the human racehas suddenly produced a very large quantity of meat, which is sitting everywhere in the biosphere and may not be able to defend itself against a life form that might want to consume it Nature has interesting ways of balancing itself pp 310 311 Note This review is republished from my official website Click through for additional footnotes and imagery Terror at the personal level.Very personal for meI read this book while on night watch in the Army I was eating cheap red licorice at a frenzied pace while I read from sheer nerves The idea of bleeding out through every bodily opening was terrifying The next morning I went to the bathroom and discovered that cheep red licorice passes nearly untouched through the human digestive system It goes in red and comes out red blood red I very nearly screamed before I realized what I was seeing Terror at the personal level.Very personal for meI read this book while on night watch in the Army I was eating cheap red licorice at a frenzied pace while I read from sheer nerves The idea of bleeding out through every bodily opening was terrifying The next morning I went to the bathroom and discovered that cheep red licorice passes nearly untouched through the human digestive system It goes in red and comes out red blood red I very nearly screamed before I realized what I was seeing.I will NEVER forget this book Both species, the human and the monkey, were in the presence of another life form, which was older andpowerful than either of them, and was a dweller in blood I read this book on the same days I was watching the Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House, which had a curious effect on me Because, well, the TV show might be very creepy, but I have to say it is nothing compared to the horror of this book.That s what The Hot Zone is A true horror story.Preston uses interviews and Both species, the human and the monkey, were in the presence of another life form, which was older andpowerful than either of them, and was a dweller in blood I read this book on the same days I was watching the Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House, which had a curious effect on me Because, well, the TV show might be very creepy, but I have to say it is nothing compared to the horror of this book.That s what The Hot Zone is A true horror story.Preston uses interviews and first hand accounts to tell the story of the Ebola virus and its various strains I d heard of Ebola, of course I knew it was a disease and that it killed people I knew I didn t want it But I didn t really know I didn t know that it liquidates your organs and turns your body into a walking corpse days before you bleed out I didn t know that it is one of the most infectious diseases that have likely ever existed on this planet.It acts like a predator, lying quietly in wait for a host so it can multiply and multiply to destructive effect Reality can be so muchscary than fiction.Truly, this is a terrifying book Preston definitely dramatizes the whole thing, but he s working with some pretty powerful material Imagine a virus with the infectiousness of influenza and the mortality rate of the black plague in the Middle Ages that s what we re talking about This is the third book about diseases and medicine that I ve really enjoyed though, yes, enjoyed seems like a poor choice of word the other two being And the Band Played On and The Emperor of All Maladies I ll happily take recommendations for any others In the hands of a skilled writer, these books are fascinating, educating and deeply unsettling Also, despite the age of this book, it doesn t feel too dated Maybe that is because Ebola remains a threat Ebola outbreaks are ongoing in Africa, right now One mistake, one oversight, one infected person taking a plane flight and we might not be able to stop it.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Imagine what else may lurk in monkeys, bats, and rodents, just waiting to unleash the next zoonosis, possibly in a country with an already severe health crisis in the Southern hemisphere, AIDS and multiresistant tuberculosis, and hepatitis epidemics It wouldn t even matter that Ebola can t be transmitted by air Still, looking at you, secret black biological warfare program project It s the way of dying that makes it evenhorrible than other illnesses, being liquified with blood coming ou Imagine what else may lurk in monkeys, bats, and rodents, just waiting to unleash the next zoonosis, possibly in a country with an already severe health crisis in the Southern hemisphere, AIDS and multiresistant tuberculosis, and hepatitis epidemics It wouldn t even matter that Ebola can t be transmitted by air Still, looking at you, secret black biological warfare program project It s the way of dying that makes it evenhorrible than other illnesses, being liquified with blood coming out of all your body and knowing what the virus does, that the chances of a normal life, if having theor less luck of surviving, are minimal, as the long term damage and health problems are immense after having been literally goo ed Next to the black vomit and theandsevere inner bleedings, there are the frightening final stages, being a zombie who turns in a living corpse with the skin changing color, before dying after series of epileptic shocks What a convenient coincidence for the virus that dying persons covered in their own blood have epilepsy and spread the death by splattering the blood with their last moves, possibly infecting anyone who gets in direct contact with the blood There are different sceneries described, each one with the potential to get zero patient started The Shadow of Mount Elgon lets one ask how easy a tourist, field scientist, biologist, or, most possible, a poor worker, may be infected by direct contact in nature without recognizing it In the case of the privileged group, the malady will possibly soon be found and detected, but the rightless worker might carry it into slums where it can spread until it reaches the richer areas and travels all over the world from there The monkey house shows the problem of everything legal and illegal around trading animals, zoos, research, and conservation It s not as if any zoo or pet store might be the potential initiation point for the next armageddon, but with people having pets and millions visiting zoos, with all those different animals, especially birds, primates, and cats, not even mentioning the factor of pigs in agriculture, there are so endlessly many possible combinations for zoonosis that it blows one s mind Smashdown comes closer to my favorite optimistic ending for such books, the ultimate bioweapon, as it describes the real life example of a virus spreading by air I am not sure about this one, as Ebola is known to not be able to spread via air and there seems to be a misunderstanding in the descriptions in the book or I misunderstood it , but just because it isn t, that doesn t mean that nature doesn t find a way Or the umbrella corporation Fiction and reality are coming closer together, as both the good and bad technological options and the contact with the rest of the wildlife humankind still hasn t exterminated are increasing and these 4 stories are just a tiny part of the possible ways it could happen, such as lab accidents, biological warfare secretly used in real life harming the population of an enemy state without being detected , and the human factor of someone, let s say a diplomat, billionaire, or a leading scientist, in a biohazard level 4 lab, becoming insane or extremist without others recognizing it and going on her his last world cruise while seeding the pandemic Heck, it would already be enough if she he just infects himself and walks around in the neuralgic points of a megacity such as airports, shopping centers, train stations, metro, and the one or other huge event, having used a genetically modified strain of a smallpox measles flu plague Eastern equine encephalitis SARS rabies ebola HIV hybrid with an extra long incubation period while already being infected, giving himself doses of a cure or too small shots of a vaccine I absolutely don t know if this is possible that don t kill the virus, but keep him contagious without showing symptoms for weeks or even month Because nobody knows the DNA of the virus, it s undetectable and because it s flu season, nobody is alarmed aboutandcases that are engineered to have exactly the common cold and flu symptoms before killing everyone infected If tech is far enough advanced in 10, 100, or 1000 years, I would deem nothing impossible any We don t have exact knowledge about the microbiological abilities of smallpox as there is no official research possible outside the Russian and US military, euphemistically called research, labs, except infection and replication rates extrapolated from old data, and measles is the closest real life example of immense destructive strength and potential The best real life example are elevators, toilets, any small closed room with relatively less air circulation or air circulation, without filters because they would cost money, spreading it everywhere where a person with measles could still passively and indirectly infect persons who enter the rooms up to half an hour after leaving thanks to the extremely high developed ability of measles to stay alive in the air The only advantage is that ebola can t spread like measles or influenza, but has the same extreme fatality as smallpox and biological warfare could do nothingeffective than creating an ebola smallpox measles, etc hybrid that mutates so quickly that finding a vaccination is impossible A wiki walk can be as refreshing to the mind as a walk through nature in this completely overrated real life outside books