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Katelyn Stankowski


Hot Zone Part. 3

Journal Entry #1: What is inside Kitum Cave? (Pg. 145-150)

Today is March 12, 1988, and our Kitum Cave expedition is beginning. The Kenya Medical
Research Institute and my team will be an experiment to find out what is causing some people to
get ill when they enter Kitum Cave. Our plan is to place monkeys and guinea pigs into the Cave
in cages and see if they will fall ill and examine them in order to try and isolate the virus and
where it came from. We started by moving the animals up the mountain so they would be able to
get used to the climate and then prepared the Cave for the experiment. We covered any big holes
in the Cave walls so insects wouldn't be able to fly out. We put large lights inside to attract flies,
and other bugs. We then put up an electrical wire to make sure no large predators would try to
come into the cave and snack on the monkeys. Once all of these tasks were completed we placed
the monkeys into their cages and distributed them into the cave.
Unfortunately none of the monkeys fell ill, so we didn't have anything to discover. Sadly we
had to sacrifice all the monkeys after the trail so other researchers could take the tissue samples
and look to see if any trace of infection lingered inside the monkeys. I didn't like sacrificing
healthy animals and am let down that this experiment was a dead end, but hope that we might be
able to try again if another Ebola case comes up.

Gene Johnson

*top left- scientist at Kitum Cave, top right- tarp used in the cave, bottom left- lights used to attract insects, bottom
right - monkey in its cage*

Journal Entry #2: What can Ebola do to a monkey? (Pg. 81-86)

Today is December 3, 2016. Myself, Major Nancy Jaxx, and Colonel Anthony Johnson will be
examining the monkeys weve injected with the Ebola strain along with their symptoms and
health. We will try and discover exactly how the Ebola strain affects the host, and how quickly
an organism will die after infected.
Our procedure is as follows;
1. Change into all required safety materials
2. Enter the monkey room
3. Check on control monkeys
4. Check on monkeys injected with Ebola strain
5. If dead monkey is found we follow removal process
6. Take the monkey to the biohazard container and slide the monkey inside
7. Carry container to necropsy room
8. Start an autopsy on the monkey to see how the strain affected the monkey
9. Record our found data
10. Dispose of monkey

Johnson and I happened to find a dead monkey and carefully removed the monkey before
performing the autopsy. We found that the monkey was filled with blood and the liver, lungs, and
other organs was ruined. We broke into the monkey's skull and found that his brain and blood
vessels were severely congested. Evidence of a stroke was also present due to blood clotting and
severe blood loss. The cause of death was most likely loss of blood and fluids, organ failure, and
blood vessel degeneration in the brain.

* on the left: monkey brain, picture on right: on far left are scissors, tweezers to
the right, a scalpel to the right of the tweezers, and finally the pin on far right*

Journal Entry #3: What is wrong with my monkeys? (Pg. 170-172)

Today is November 10, 1989. I'm becoming concerned about the amount of monkeys that are
becoming ill and dying at our unit. One or two wouldn't be alarming, but finding one after
another dead in their cages is a problem. I decided to take a closer look at the monkeys to see
exactly what had happened to them, and what type of illness they happened to suffer from. I
carried the dead monkeys into the examination room and using a scalpel, I opened them up and
started the procedure.

I started with the appearance of the monkeys and stomach contents and saw that they showed
signs of anorexia, which can cause a monkey to die off quickly. When I worked my way to the
organs I noticed that the spleen was extremely swollen, there was dryness near incision areas,
enlarged kidneys, and some hemorrhaging in the organs. Alarmed by the size of the spleen I
decided to try to make an incision and look inside, but I ran into a problem when the scalpel
practically ricocheted off the spleen! This was highly strange since the spleen is usually
extremely easy to cut into. When I took a closer look I realized why the scalpel wasn't doing
much of anything. It was because the spleen was almost entirely a blood clot..
I took a small sample of the spleen and a swab of the monkeys throats to preserve any virus
until I can call Usamriid to take a look at everything to fully identify the disease the monkeys are
suffering from.

Dan Dalgard

*top left - monkey spleen, top right - scalpel, bottom left - specimen container and bag, bottom right - throat swab.

Journal Entry #4: Do these monkeys really have SHF? (Pg. 191-198)
Today is November 27, 1989. I arrived at work prepared to take a look at a button of dead
monkey cells harvested from the monkeys at the Reston Quarantine Unit. My goal with looking
at these cells was to come to an idea on what kind of disease the monkeys were catching. I took
the flask that holds the cells into the cutting room so I could slice the cells in small pieces to
observe them through a microscope more thoroughly.
I took a diamond knife and inserted it into the cutting machine, cut the cells into small slices,
and placed them into droplets of water. I then used an eyelash on a stick to separate the cells
from each other, and then using a copper grid and tweezers I collected the cells onto it. I placed
the slide onto a microscope, turned the lights off and took a look at the slide.
While I was taking a look at the cells I realized something terrifying. The cells were an
absolute mess.. They looked almost as if theyd been blown apart, and the cells were crawling
with worms. From past knowledge I recognized this look as the look of a filovirus. I then quickly
snapped pictures of the slides and rushed into a dark room to look at the negatives. The virus
looked like snakes on the negatives, and the cell was scarily similar to a chocolate chip except
the chocolate resembled crystal like blocks of the virus. The virus was literally getting ready to
hatch and multiply.. That's when I had a unsettling thought that Marburg might be the virus that I
was looking at.

Tom Geisbert

* top left is a diamond knife, top right - microscope, middle left - cells with Ebola, middle right - tweezers, bottom
left - copper grid, bottom right - Ebola *