The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone chapter 38 Reconnaissance

Explain Kitum Cave's importance and compare it to the 'monkey house'.

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Preston does not enter Kitum Cave with the sole purpose of stepping into the mindset of the scientists of his book. He is interested in assuming the mindset of the hot agent itself. With each step in the cave, he tries to discern the source of the virus, even to the point of turning off his light and trying to “feel” its presence. Preston does not reveal whether or not he feels anything, but he is clearly affected by his experience after emerging from the cave. Just as Tom Geisbert and Peter Jahrling must wait for the entirety of Ebola’s incubation period to know whether or not they are infected, Preston can only wait to see if he develops a headache. This personal episode of terror is an affecting way to end a book about human folly and threats larger than mankind.