Twenty years ago, I escorted author Richard Preston on a book tour. His book The Hot Zone is a non-fiction work about the Ebola virus. His terrifying scenario tells how this virus kills nine out of 10 victims so quickly and gruesomely that even biohazard experts are terrified.
In 1989, at an army research facility outside Washington, D.C., a SWAT team of soldiers and scientists wearing biohazard space suits had been organized to stop the Ebola outbreak. The grim operation went on in secret for 18 days. From a remote jungle cave in Africa festering with deadly organisms to the confines of a Biosafety Level 4 military lab, The Hot Zone describes situations that a few years ago would have been taken for science fiction.
Preston wrote the book to warn that there was going to be a worldwide epidemic and that governments had to make finding a cure a priority. Unfortunately, he was ignored. Now, in 2014, we are experiencing hundreds of deaths in Africa. I hope it is not be too late to save mankind.
Joan Robbins, Aventura