Here are some of the scary facts from The Hot Zone that just might keep you up at night:
- The Marburg virus and the three identified strains of Ebola are Level 4 agents. "A Level 4 hot agent is a lethal virus for which there is no vaccine and no cure."
- "No one knew where any of (these) filoviruses came from; no one knew where they lived in nature...And they didn't know exactly how the virus spread, or how it jumped from host to host."
- "The worst of them was Ebola Zaire. The kill rate in humans infected with Ebola Zaire is nine out of ten. Ebola Zaire is a slate wiper in humans."
- "From the moment Ebola enters your bloodstream, the war is already lost...you can't fight off Ebola the way you fight off a cold." (Although some people do recover from it.)
- "We don't really know what Ebola has done in the past, and we don't know what it might do in the future."
- "....viruses never go away; they only hide..."
Other "scary" reads to check out:
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen
Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC by Joseph B. McCormick