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Exposure (standard:science fiction, 1048 words)
Author: Ryan from Boston Latin SchoolAdded: Oct 21 2005Views/Reads: 3280/2Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
This medical sci-fi thriller concerns a disease called Ebola. A man named Eugene Mayburn is an ambitious epidemoligist who is interested in Ebola. Therefore, he gains clearence to experiment with Ebola. However, when he enters the lab, things go horrib
 



Ryan Hoang 024 Section 71 September 28, 2005 

Chapter 1: Exposure 

The world of virology, the study of viruses, had always fascinated him. 
As a small child, he would never take his eyes off books describing 
these tiny organisms and how they worked.  Eugene Mayburn became so 
fascinated with virology that he joined the World Health Organization 
as an epidemiologist in 2010.  An epidemiologist dealt with outbreaks 
of various kinds of disease and sickness.  The W.H.O examined his 
resume which included working with multiple epidemics including AIDS, a 
disease of the immune system, at Los Angeles in 1981 and Avian 
Influenza, a infection caused by birds (also known as the flu), at 
Vietnam in 2003.  Once they saw this impressive resume, they 
automatically hired him as chief epidemiologist.  Not until one month 
later did Eugene learn about the two deadly filoviruses: Marburg and 
Ebola.  Eugene knew that working with these microscopic organisms could 
kill him, but his interest got the better of him. 

Ebola and its sister Marburg were a great extent different than all the
other viruses.  Instead of looking ball-shaped like other viruses do, a 
filovirus looked like a snake and was also more lethal. 

Eugene's whole interest in the filoviruses came right after he joined
the W.H.O.  Eugene read an article about the massive outbreak of Ebola 
in Zaire, Africa.  This filovirus was so deadly that it killed nine out 
of ten people infected.  The trademark symptom of this virus was the 
hemorrhage, or bleeding profusely.  This hemorrhage started because 
there are no blood clots to block the flowing.  The hemorrhage 
continued through every opening in the human body.  As the virus 
multiplies through the body, little blocks of crystals start to appear 
in the organs.  These crystals are saturated with Ebola virus and are 
ready to blow like a time bomb.  Autopsies of a victim would show an 
organ swelled up because of this process.  As soon as your body crashed 
and bled out, (a medical term for those who bleed from every opening in 
the body and die) your organs will slowly start to liquefy until it is 
a pile of pudding in a matter of days. Marburg was practically 
identical to Ebola.  Ebola was unknown in many countries so it was 
diagnosed incorrectly.  Eugene looked into this mystery and found that 
they named this virus for its first appearance near the Ebola River.  
Ebola and its sister were much different than all the other viruses.  
The scary thing about Ebola was that there was no cure for it. 

Eugene's father had died of Avian Influenza and Eugene could not do
anything about it.  He could not bear the sight of people dying from 
disease that had a cure.  This became the inspiration that Eugene was 
looking for.  He wanted to find a cure or at least something that could 
fight Ebola.  The only way he could work with the Ebola was by gaining 
clearance into a maximum containment lab.  A maximum containment lab 
was a laboratory where all the filoviruses and other deadly viruses 
were kept.  Eugene's superior, Dr. Fredrick Smith, thought he was crazy 
when he asked for clearance.  He said, “Son, these viruses can kill a 
man in less than ten days.  If you want to deal with this, then so be 
it, but don't tell me that I didn't warn you when you're in bed 
bleeding to death.”  Eugene could not believe his luck.  He had not 
thought that it would be this easy.  Maybe there was a reason why there 
was no objection. 

Eugene could barely contain his excitement as he paced to the maximum
containment lab on the second floor of the W.H.O building.  He finally 
made it after 10 minutes of walking and a steel door lay in front of 
him.  Sure enough, there was a key slot to slide a clearance card that 
Eugene had received from Dr. Fredrick Smith.  Once he slid the card in 
it, there was a “hiss!” and the door started to creak open. 

The exterior of this lab had many layers for protection.  The first room
that Eugene entered was the room for taking off all accessories.  The 
only accessory he wore was a baseball cap which he removed.  He then 
entered the next room which was much bigger.  It had a desk with a 
couple of hooks next to it.  On the right hand side of the hooks lay 
three immense suits.  These suits were the only things you would wear 
in the lab.  They kept you protected in case of an emergency such as a 
glass bottle containing a virus breaking.  It looked sort of like a 
space suit which astronauts wear, but the hood was oversized.  Eugene 
took off his clothes and laid them on the hook as instructed.  He 
placed on the suit which felt like a cement block; he could barely walk 
in it.  Now it was time for business.  Before Eugene walked into the 
next room, he thought he felt a hole somewhere in his suit. 

Eugene walked through the final steel door.  The lab was built airtight
so if the viruses broke out, they would not be able to flow out of the 
lab.  The main lab was much larger than Eugene had expected.  Covering 
the whole lab were air hoses for refilling on oxygen.  In the center, 
was a small table where the scientists could examine the viruses using 
a microscope.  What Eugene did not notice was patch of ice on the 
floor.  The biggest asset of the room was the vault as it towered over 
Eugene.  Eugene slid the clearance card into the slot of the vault and 
it swung open.  The interior of the vault was like a freezer.  The 
walls were lined with canisters and tubes.  These contained the 
diseases from AIDS to influenza.  Eugene finally spotted the isolated 
tubes of Ebola and Marburg at the back of the room.  He took the tube 
labeled Ebola and took it out of the vault. Just as Eugene was about to 
sit to examine the Ebola, he suddenly slipped on the patch of ice.  
Eugene's heart stopped as the Ebola tube came crashing to the ground 
and broke.  To make matter's worse Eugene saw the hole in his suit.  
Exposure began. 


   


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