The Hot Zone

Alyssa Nilles- Pacleb, Questions 21-24

QUESTION 21: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO OBSERVE ALL SAFETY RULES EVEN IN THE HIGH SCHOOL LABORATORY REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT SEEMS NECESSARY OR NOT? SITE SOME INSTANCES IN WHICH PROPER SAFETY PROCEDURES COULD HAVE PREVENTED THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUSES. APPLY WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT SAFETY TO THE HIGH SCHOOL LABORATORY.

When we are preforming a lab, it is essential to wear gloves regardless of our personal views on the "gross-ness" of a lab. Whether we want to go full on licking rat preservatives from under our fingernails to wearing three pairs of gloves without even holding the scalpel, there are reasons certain measures are taken to ensure our safety.

An example from the book where hygienic measures could have been taken was when the Belgian nuns used the same five needles to "treat" a large group of people. Although this could have been done for economical reasons or efficiency, these reasons are not excuses for their irresponsible acts in spreading Ebola.

QUESTION 22: PRESTON QUOTES PETER JARHLING ON PAGE 366, "WHY IS THE ZAIRE STUFF HOT FOR HUMANS? WHY ISN'T RESTON HOT FOR HUMANS, WHEN THE STRAINS ARE SO CLOSE TO EACH OTHER?" PROPOSE SOME ANSWERS TO EXPLAIN THESE OBSERVATIONS.

I blame the nuns.

By "I blame the nuns", i mean "Zaire is far more deadly than Reston." Zaire is so deadly to humans because it take humans by surprise. The Jarhling states that he hopes someone doesn't improperly dispose of what they think is Ebola Reston when it is actually Ebola Zaire.

QUESTION 23: THE LAST CHAPTER TAKES YOU AND THE AUTHOR BACK TO KITUM CAVE. WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE PRESTON INTENDED TO ACCOMPLISH BY HIS VISIT TO KITUM CAVE? WOULD YOU ENTER KITUM CAVE IN A SPACE SUIT? WITH OUT A SPACESUIT?

Preston goes to the cave to experience what it is like to be in a stage 4 area, not as a scientist, but as an author to better understand the feeling of danger experienced by people in his book. Preston wanted to go to Kitum Cave to go through what Nancy Jaax and other scientists went through.

Would I go into Kitum Cave without proper equipment? It completely depends on the pretense. If I went to Kitum Cave with the same intentions as Preston, I would've taken off my space suit. If tests were done by scientists that failed to find Marburg, I would be reassured that the chance of being infected was low.

QUESTION 24: ARE EMERGING VIRUSES SUCH AS EBOLA A THREAT TO HUMAN SAFETY IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT ATTENTION TO BIOTERRORISM?

Like diseased used during the American revolutionary war, World War 1, and the incident where two college idiots tried to poison Chicago's water supply, Ebola has the ability to become a mass killer in warfare. The question is, will a world power risk wiping out the earth's population by spreading a deadly virus that they know little about besides the fact that it makes people bleed to death. Would a world power vaccinate its country's population or completely cut off its land, sea, and air travel? Of course not because money would be lost for the sake of infecting the country's enemy while the disease spreads to the country's allies and bordering lands. Taking that into account, what is a world power without money?

If you're asking if unleashing Ebola into the world would completely destroy our safety, then yes. Ebola would be a threat to our well-being.

But would a country or group of people be crazy enough to initiate the use of Ebola in their war tactics? It is highly unlikely.