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THE HOT ZONE By Richard Preston In October of l989 Macaque monkeys housed at the Reston Primate Quarantine Unit in Reston Virginia began dying from a mysterious disease at an alarming rate The monkeys imported from the Philippines were to be sold as laboratory animals Twenty-nine of a shipment of one hundred died within a month Dan Dalgard the veterinarian who cared for the monkeys feared they were dying from Simian Hemorrhagic Fever a disease lethal to monkeys but harmless to humans Dr Dalgard decided to enlist the aid of the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases USAMRIID to help diagnose the case On November 28th Dr Peter Jahlring of the Institute was in his lab testing a virus culture from the monkeys Much to his horror the blood tested positive for the deadly Ebola Zaire virus Ebola Zaire is the most lethal of all strains of Ebola It is so lethal that nine out of ten of its victims die Later the geniuses at USAMRIID found out that it wasnt Zaire but a new strain of Ebola which they named Ebola Reston This was added to the list of strains Ebola Zaire Ebola Sudan and now Reston These are all level-four hot viruses That means there are no vaccines and there are no cures for these killers In 1976 Ebola climbed out of its primordial hiding place in the jungles of Africa and in two outbreaks in Zaire and Sudan wiped out six hundred people But the virus had never been seen outside of Africa and the consequences of having the virus in a busy suburb of Washington DC is too terrifying to contemplate Theoretically an airborne strain of Ebola could emerge and circle the world in about six weeks Ebola virus victims usually crash and bleed a military term which literally means the virus attacks every organ of the body and transforms every part of the body into
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