The Hot Zone

What did Nurse Mayinga do before she was finally checked into a hospital that concerned individuals around the globe?

Why exactly did everyone panic?

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Nurse Mayinga didn't want to admit the possibility she'd been infected, and rather than isolate herself or seek assistance, she ran all over the city preparing to leave for Europe, infecting the people around her.

What worried her was the possibility that if she became ill, she would not be allowed to travel abroad. When the headache came upon her, she left her job at the hospital and disappeared. She dropped out of sight for two days. During that time, she went into the city, hoping to get her travel permits arranged before she became visibly sick.

On the first day of her disappearance—the date was October 12, 1976—she spent a day waiting in lines at the offices of the Zairean foreign ministry, trying to get her papers straight.

The next day, October 13, she felt worse, but instead of reporting to work, again she went into the city. This time, she took a taxi to the largest hospital in Kinshasa, the Mama Yemo Hospital.


Preston, Richard. The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus (p. 108). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.