Reddit Reddit reviews The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus

We found 65 Reddit comments about The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus
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65 Reddit comments about The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus:

u/DannyMB · 168 pointsr/science

If anyone here doesn't know just how scary ebola is, I highly recommend reading The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. Probably one of the most terrifying books I have ever read.
Link here

u/20gauge · 68 pointsr/WTF

Well then maybe you shouldn't read this or this. I am terrified of smallpox and ebola/hemorrhagic fevers thanks to Richard Preston.

u/rustyoldtimer · 30 pointsr/MorbidReality

This virus is scaring the hell out of me, especially after just finishing The Hot Zone. I picked this book up as the virus started being reported on in the news, and it now has me obsessed with viral outbreaks. The downside is that I have also become extremely paranoid. Fuck Ebola Zaire, fuckin bitch. I wouldn't wish this horrible contagion on my worst enemy. I really hope the brilliant scientists and doctors around the world get this thing under control ASAP.

u/moxifloxacin · 23 pointsr/dataisbeautiful

That is a great question, but I doubt that it will. (Again, not a virologist, but personal opinion with some research done)

Its weakness is that it's really good at immobilizing and killing people. It usually does this pretty quickly (minus the 2-21 day incubation[pre-symptom] period, during which the patient is not contagious) so its transmission is limited if quality quarantine procedures are used. It's also not an airborne pathogen (except for transmission via droplets from coughs, sneezes).

The Filoviridae are ancient bacteria viruses(I typed it up in a hurry, sorry) so they've had plenty of time to mutate into a deadly strain. That's not to say that they won't, but they are very different from the viruses that are more readily transmitted such as the flu virus.

Opinion: I don't think Ebola will ever be as deadly in total deaths as the flu. Ever. Its mortality rate is high and scary, but it isn't as transmissible as the flu or a cold and I doubt that it ever will be. Any first world country using appropriate quarantine measures would be able to prevent any serious spread of the virus fairly easily. Part of the reason it spreads so easily where it does is that, even in the midst of this local epidemic, people are still attending funerals and handling the bodies of the dead in a manner that is not conducive to containment.

I'm sure people see this any time the Ebola comes up, but The Hot Zone is an excellent book on the virus and the Reston, VA incident. I love the book, and there's a lot of pretty solid science in it.

EDIT: I accidentally called it a bacteria...

u/virusporn · 14 pointsr/books
  1. The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story - Richard Preston

  2. 8.5/10

  3. Dramatised non-fiction science/medical

  4. It's horrifying. True account of various Ebola and Marburg outbreaks pieced together from interviews of people who were there, including one in Reston, Virginia.

  5. Amazon and Goodreads
u/jeanewt · 14 pointsr/biology

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is one of the more recent NYT bestsellers that is also a pretty good biology read. The Hot Zone is a classic, and although it is dated, it will probably regain some of its formal popularity due to the [current ebola outbreak] ( I would recommend Creighton if you want a "fun" read, but his works are fictional, predictable, and often infuriatingly inaccurate.

u/[deleted] · 12 pointsr/news

If you haven't read it, I recommend "The Hot Zone", a bestselling book about the Ebola virus.

Wikipedia, Amazon

u/ShimmerLily · 11 pointsr/worldnews

I found this. Is that the same thing?

Edit: Legit purchase.

u/doxiegrl1 · 9 pointsr/science

For a longer version of that story, read the Hot Zone

u/meddle511 · 8 pointsr/CFBOffTopic

Highly recommend the book [The Hot Zone] ( which came out almost 20 years ago but is a fantastic read. It is part historical, part scientific, and just a well written account of the history of the virus as we know it.

I'm not sure how many know that the virus has already appeared in the US back in 1989 as a pathogen to monkeys but not humans. It also details the appearance of Marburg virus in German cities in the late sixties and is closely related to Ebola as it results in viral hemorrhagic fever.

Anyway, good read, pick it up if this is something that interests you.

u/bgeller · 8 pointsr/todayilearned

I grow up in Reston and the lab that discovered it was later turned into a daycare center which many of my friends attended. As a nerdy fifth grader I listened to the audiobook of the [The Hot Zone] ( a book about the virus and learned about the virus and the lab in Reston. As any good fifth grader I told all my friends that went to that daycare center that they have Ebola and will die soon. I think I own them an apology.

u/jarrettwold · 7 pointsr/science

I always point people to this book when they blow off vaccinations or contagious diseases:

The other book? Preston's The Hot Zone.

Both of those scared the ever living shit out of me, and they're also why I hate Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy.

u/liquidpele · 7 pointsr/science

> ebola is -RNA. can that mix with the flu?

Yes. It already did in a viral lab once.

Read "The Hot Zone" for a truly scary true story about a close call with an ebola pandemic.

u/bushgoliath · 7 pointsr/medicalschool

I loved biomedical pop-sci with a passion when I was in high school. "Stiff" was on my bookshelf for sure. Didn't read Atul Gawande's stuff until later, but enjoyed them very much. My favorites from when I was a teen were:

u/UpgradeSolution · 6 pointsr/funny

I read a book about Ebola and if I recall correctly the strain of Ebola that is airborne is way more deadly however it kills people so fast that it doesn't have a chance to spread it kinda just kills itself off.

Edit: I think this is the book.

u/aroogu · 5 pointsr/worldnews

Read The Hot Zone. Contagion is for wimps & dilettantes.

u/b00yakashaa · 5 pointsr/epidemiology

You can't talk about public health/epi lit without bringing up The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. It's a really intriguing look at the known history of Ebola and the Ebola Reston outbreak at a monkey house in the US, but take a lot of his details with a grain of salt because he's on the record saying that he dramatized a number of details but its entertaining and informative nonetheless. Preston has a few other books that fall in a similar fold.

I'm currently reading Spillover by David Quammen and I'm really loving it! It's a more scientifically sound book about zoonosis and how infections make their way across species and into humans. I'm personally finding it to be a lot more entertaining than The Hot Zone as well.

u/barkingbullfrog · 5 pointsr/polandball

Read The Hot Zone. Seriously. Do it now.

u/dontforgetpants · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Ebola is a disease that, as far as I know, is believed to live in an animal "reservoir," meaning that it primarily infects or is carried by animals, but it can make the jump to humans if a human comes into contact with an infected animal or carrier animal. Another example of this type of disease is rabies - humans only get it when they come into contact with an animal that carries rabies (as opposed to diseases that jump from human to human, like malaria, which is passed through a vector, or HIV which is passed directly from human to human).

So, ebola doesn't really "die out" when it disappears for a short time from the human population. It's just that it kills off all of its human hosts. Then, when a person comes into contact with an infected animal (probably a monkey or chimp), they get infected and pass it around to other humans.

As /u/fastblackman17 pointed out, ebola never really made it to the US this time around. I actually disagree with ebola being one of the top killers in Africa. Still AIDS, malaria, war, probably influenza, etc. are all much bigger killers than ebola in Africa. Ebola is right now relatively contained. In 2014, ebola killed ~10,000 people in Africa, compared to AIDS in 2011 which killed 1.2 million (1,200,000 so approximately 120x as many).

Anyways, if you're interested in ebola and similar viruses, you should check out this book - it's a fantastic and will scare the pants off of you.

u/Non_Sane · 3 pointsr/worldnews

Hopefully it's not Ebola Zaire. Most outbreaks contain themselves as they kill more people than infect them. The Hot Zone is an excellent book if you want to learn about Ebola.

u/RSquared · 3 pointsr/science

Came here for this. Great book, as is The Hot Zone, his earlier book on Ebola Reston.

u/AlexanderSalamander · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions
u/BitcoinFinance · 3 pointsr/Conservative

AIDS is worse because it goes unnoticed for so long. It takes around 21 days for symptoms to appear from Ebola. It kills the host too quickly.

Ebola is not an airborne illness. They need the body suits because the symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and hemorrhaging. I highly recommend The Hot Zone if you're interested in educating yourself on the topic. It's also a good read just for entertainment.

u/mx_hazelnut · 3 pointsr/books

Someone suggested The Hot Zone to me here a while back. It's nonfiction, but the plot and characters were compelling enough that I'm glad I gave it a try.

If you haven't read them, The Stand and The Andromeda Strain are two very well-loved books in that genre.

u/Cletusvandayam · 3 pointsr/news

Regarding the CDC recently... "APHIS found numerous violations of federal rules for handling dangerous microbes, according to the congressional document. For instance, unidentified "materials" were carried from one CDC lab to another in two plastic Ziploc bags, which did not meet the requirement that such containers be "durable."

If they can't be trusted with Anthrax and bird flu what makes you think we should give them a crack at Ebola? In the book Hot Zone It was said if you walk into a washroom and smell a strong odor of urine you have just inhaled enough molecules of moisture to contract a disease from the previous occupant.

u/If_If_Was_a_5th · 3 pointsr/worldnews

The Hot Zone is about that incident.

u/joebob431 · 3 pointsr/CFBOffTopic

If you are interested in Ebola, and you haven't read it already, I would highly recommend The Hot Zone.

u/RataTataSqueek · 3 pointsr/news

In some of the earlier outbreaks of Ebola, it was shown that the virus spread partly due to inadequate sterilization. In some instances needles were shared during vaccinations amidst many patients due to a lack of supplies.


If you are interested in learning more regarding the Ebola virus in the past (history, development, outbreaks, the science behind it) then I recommend reading The Hot Zone. It was an informative and interesting book that I encountered a few years prior during my yearly CE courses/activities. It will detail the poor sterilization and equipment management available for those particular outbreaks. As for now, I do not know for certain that their methods are more or less sterile, but Africa (unfortunately) does not have the medical infrastructure nor funding that Western countries are privy to at this time thus we may reasonably infer that poor sanitation practices may be reoccurring presently.

Edit: grammar, apologies.

u/Rhesusmonkeydave · 3 pointsr/worldnews

I’m probably going to take a lot of shit for suggesting a nonfiction novel rather than a scholarly source but I think Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone
and The Demon In The Freezer do a good job of laying out the current situation and making for exciting reading. (That said, IANAVirologist.)

Wiki pages:

u/Trent_Boyett · 2 pointsr/horrorlit

It's not horror, or even fiction, but check out The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

u/Eletric2437 · 2 pointsr/worldnews
u/nikatnight · 2 pointsr/IAmA

Man I was just reading about this on Aljazeera. I am incredibly terrified. I read the book The Hotpoint Zone a few years ago. It gives real accounts of these it.

One of the things it talks about is the only survivor. He attacked people while he was infected (they got infected and died) and hospital staff strapped him to a bed. When he recovered he had no memory of the week prior.

He was a fucking zombie.

Be careful. Be really careful. The CDC in the US were able to prove that Ebola Zaire can be airborne.

u/true911 · 2 pointsr/ebola

I read the description of Ebola on the human body in Hot Zone

Im not seeing any photos anywhere that depict that level of deterioration.

u/DidYaHearThat_Whoosh · 2 pointsr/mexico

Yo estoy leyendo The Hot Zone, sobre el virus del ébola y potenciales pandemias. Estoy picadísimo.

También les recomiendo un sitio de historias cortas de ciencia ficción (en inglés): In This Future Or The Next

u/AustinTreeLover · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Instead, read The Hot Zone and/or Demon in the Freezer. They're scarier.

u/OpiumTraitor · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Read the first chapter of The Hot Zone and you might think otherwise. Ebola's a disgusting and terrifying way to go.

u/jonesy16 · 2 pointsr/preppers

Lots of good information in the comments on this thread. Like what /u/winterspan said, Ebola isn't really the disease to be worried about. With Ebola Zaire's mortality rate of up to 90%, it isn't very efficient at spreading because it kills its host so quickly and burns out.

If you're interested in learning more about Ebola, I'd highly recommend reading The Hot Zone. Stephen King called it one of the scariest books he's ever read and it looks like it's only $5 on Amazon.

EDIT: Here's a (kind of shitty) PDF version of The Hot Zone

u/StardustSapien · 2 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion
u/HowSwedeitis · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Unique timing for me. I'm currently half way through the terrifying book "The Hot Zone."
Ebola is truly a terrible thing to go through. =/

u/PirateKilt · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Having recently read "Hot Zone", this is rather worrisome...

u/noisy_burglar · 2 pointsr/worldnews

You may be thinking of The Hot Zone.

u/HamsterNamedFunny · 1 pointr/conspiracy

Oh reading is like, so hard. Please give me a detailed report on all the sources cited, you know, to make sure you actually know how to read.

Sources for your illness only your doctor can give you, sorry!

u/Im2Nelson4u · 1 pointr/marvelheroes

I currently have an audiobook playing in the background "The Hot Zone"

u/Derkek · 1 pointr/worldnews

Further similar reading includes the book The Hot Zone.

It's a great read.

u/Slick1ru2 · 1 pointr/HighStrangeness

No, not Contagion, you want to read The Hot Zone.

u/skepticMelody · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Hot Zone by Richard Preston. Ebola scares the crap out of me. I didn't touch anything for a week.

u/ModernRonin · 1 pointr/science

For anyone who hasn't read it, The Hot Zone is an engaging look at Ebola, and I recommend it.

On a somewhat related note, I wonder how well Reston works as a vaccination against Zaire or other strains of Ebola?

u/newtonslogic · 1 pointr/worldnews

I think everyone in this thread would be well served to read Laurie Garrett's "The Coming Plague" and Robert Preston's "The Hot Zone".

u/shatana · 1 pointr/medicine

Hot Zone by Richard Preston

u/tim5570115 · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky:

If you are scientifically minded, it wouldn't hurt to pick up a book on virology, to really learn what "going viral" means and how it maps to biology. Here's what's on the top of Amazon for that topic:

u/mushpuppy · 1 pointr/horror

The Hot Zone.

Second choice: Ghosts. Sadly out of print.

u/TeslaIsAdorable · 1 pointr/politics

Books like the Hot Zone suggest that people have been concerned about Ebola for a while. It's lethality makes it a good candidate for a bioweapon (if you can get it to mutate a bit so it's airborne and the early symptoms are less severe), for one thing.

u/synsays · 1 pointr/ebola

Did you read The Hot Zone? If you didn't, you don't know what you are talking about. What she described is what Ebola does to the body. Educate yourself before posting comments that show your ignorance.

From The Hot Zone:
"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. The seven mysterious proteins that, assembled together, make up the Ebola-virus particle, work as a relentless machine, a molecular shark, and they consume the body as the virus makes copies of itself. Small blood clots begin to appear in the bloodstream, and the blood thickens and slows, and the clots begin to stick to the walls of the blood vessels. This is known as pavementing, because the clots fit together in a mosaic. The mosaic thickens and throws more clots drift through the bloodstream into the small capillaries, where they get stuck. This shuts off the blood supply to various parts of the body, causing dead spots to appear in the brain, liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines, testicles, breast tissue (of men as well as women), and all through the skin. Ebola attacks connective tissue with particular ferocity; it multiples in collagen, the chief constituent protein of the tissue that holds the organs together. (the seven Ebola proteins somehow chew up the body's structural proteins.) In this way, collagen in the body turns to mush, and the underlayers of the skin die and liquefy. The skin bubbles up into a sea of tiny white blisters mixed with red spots known as maculopapular rash. This rash has been likened to tapioca pudding. Spontaneous rips appear in the skin, and hemorrhagic blood pours from the rips. The red spots on the skin row and spread and merge to become huge, spontaneous bruises, and the skin goes soft and pulpy and can tear off it is is touched with any kind of pressure. Your mouth bleeds, and you bleed around your teeth, and you may have hemorrhages from the salivary glands-literally every opening in the body bleeds, no matter how small. The surface of the tongue turns brilliant red and then sloughs off, and is swallowed or spat out. It is said to be extraordinarily painful to lose the surface of one's tongue. The tongue's skin may be torn off during the rushes of the black vomit. The back of the throat and the lining of the windpipe may also slough off, and the dead tissues slides down the windpipe into the lungs or is coughed up with sputum. Your heart bleeds into itself; the heart muscle softens and has hemorrhages into its chambers, and blood squeezes out of the heart muscle as the heart beats, and it floods the chest cavity The brain becomes clogged with dead blood cells, a condition known as sludging of the brain. Ebola attacks the lining of the eyeball: you may weep blood. The blood runs from your eyes down to your cheeks and refuses to coagulate. You may have a hemispherical stroke, in which one whole side of the body is paralyzed, which is invariably fatal in the case of Ebola. Even while the body's internal organs are becoming plugged with coagulated blood, the blood that streams out of the body cannot clot; it resembles whey being squeezed out of curds. The blood has been stripped of its clotting factors. If you put the runny Ebola blood in a test tube and look at it, you see that the blood is destroyed. Its red blood cells are broken and dead. The blood looks as if it has been buzzed in an electric blender.
Ebola kills a great deal of tissue while the host is still alive. It triggers a creeping, spotty necrosis that spreads through all the internal organs. The liver bulges up and turns yellow, beings to liquefy, and then it cracks apart. The cracks run across the liver and deep inside it, and the liver completely dies and goes putrid. The kidneys become jammed with blood clots and dead cells, and cease functioning. As the kidneys fail, the blood becomes toxic with urine. The spleen turns into a single, hard blood clot the size of a baseball. The lining of the gut dies and sloughs off into the bowels and is defecated along with large amounts of blood. In men, the testicles bloat up and turn black-and-blue, the semen goes hot with Ebola, and the nipples may bleed. In women, the labia turn blue, livid, protrusive, and there may be massive vaginal bleeding. The virus is a catastrophe for a pregnant woman: the child is aborted spontaneously and is usually infected with Ebola virus, born with red eyes and a bloody nose.

Ebola destroys the brain more thoroughly than does Marburg, and Ebola victims often go into epileptic convulsions during the final stage. The convulsions are grand mal seizures-the whole body twitches and shakes, the arms and legs thrash around, and the eyes, sometimes bloody, roll up into the head. The tremors and convulsions of the patient may smear or splatter blood around. Possibly this epileptic splashing of blood is one of Ebola's strategies for success-it makes the victim go into a flurry of seizures as he dies, spreading blood all over the place, thus giving the virus a chance to jump to the new host-a kind of transmission through smearing.
Ebola (and Marburg) multiples so rapidly and powerfully that the body's infected cells become crystal-like blocks of packed virus particles. These crystals are broods of virus getting ready to hatch from the cell. They are known as bricks. The bricks, or crystals, first appear near the center of the cell and then migrate towards the surface. As a crystal reaches a cell wall, it disintegrates into hundreds of individual virus particles, and the broodlings push the cell wall like hair and float away in the bloodstream of the host. The hatched Ebola particles cling to cells everywhere in the body, and get inside them, and continue to multiply. It keeps on multiplying until areas of tissue all through the body are filled with crystalloids, which hatch, and more Ebola particles drift into the bloodstream, and the amplification continues inexorably until a droplet of the host's blood can contain a hundred million individual virus particles.

After death, the cadaver suddenly deteriorates: the internal organs, having been dead or partially dead for days, have already begun to dissolve, and a sort of shock-related meltdown occurs. The corpse's connective tissue, skin, and organs, already peppered with dead sots, heated by fever, and damaged by shock, begin to liquefy, and the fluids that leak from the cadaver are saturated with Ebola-virus particles."

edit: typos

u/dziban303 · 1 pointr/MachinePorn

I actually came in this thread to recommend that book. I shouldn't be too surprised that WSPer /u/irishjihad beat me to the punch.

Richard Preston is a fantastic nonfiction author. I've liked all his books, from the Hale telescope in First Light to enormous redwoods in The Wild Trees, and of course what's probably his biggest commercial success, The Hot Zone.

u/BadScienceGuy · 1 pointr/microbiology

The Hot Zone is also another good read.
It's about an outbreak on US soil.

u/YaoSlap · 1 pointr/books

Richard Preston writes some really good books dealing with the nastiest bacteria/viruses out there. I think you'd really enjoy The Hot Zone from him. Some of the stories are pretty terrifying, but it's great for profiling the viruses origin, spread, and quarantine methods.

u/Tincansailorman · 1 pointr/worldnews

This may be a good time to recommend a certain medical narrative regarding Ebola:

It's an easy read and terrifying as well.

u/loonybonkersmad · 1 pointr/ebola

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston is an excellent introduction to Ebola and the human response.

u/afty · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

Read The Hot Zone - it's the scariest book you'll probably ever read because it's completely true. Trust me. It's also just a really good read.

u/nanofeeb · -3 pointsr/todayilearned