The Hot Zone

Describe the experiment in 1988 that confirmed Ebola could travel through air.

This is for the chapter Going Deep.

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"There were thirty-five team members, and most of them were Kenyans, including wildlife naturalists, scientists, doctors, and laborers. They brought along a large number of guinea pigs, traveling in boxes, and seventeen monkeys in cages, including baboons, Sykes' monkeys, and African green monkeys. The monkeys and guinea pigs were sentinel animals, like canaries in a coal mine: they would be placed in cages inside and near Kitum Cave in the hope that some of them would break with Marburg virus. There are no instruments that can detect a virus. The best way to find a virus in the wild, at the present time, is to place a sentinel animal at the suspected location of the virus and hope the animal gets sick. Johnson figured that if any of his monkeys or guinea pigs crashed, he would be able to isolate the virus from the sick animals and would perhaps be able to discover how the animals had caught it."


The Hot Zone