In the following essay, I will discuss the story of The Andromeda Strain, as written by Michael Chrichton in 1969 but I will first share with you some information on the main characters of the novel.
The most significant characters in this book are the ones that stay in the story as it progresses. First, there is Jeremy Stone, professor of bacteriology, Nobel Prize winner, and government consultant to the National Science Advisor. Secondly, there is Leavitt, a clinical microbiologist. Leavitt and Stone have been work partners one more occasions than one. The third character is Burton, a pathologist. Burton and Stone are said not to get along very well. The fourth character is Mark Hall, a surgeon and practicing physician. These four doctors form a team that is part of a project that goes by the name of "Wildfire".
Project "Wildfire" was born in the mind of Doctor Jeremy Stone, one the world's most well regarded researchers. The project consisted of detecting, isolating, analyzing and ultimately, destroying threatening viruses currently unknown to man. The project was highly classified and very sensitive. .
The project was put to the test when a satellite crashed abruptly into the town of Piedmont, population of 57 inhabitants. Two military technicians were sent to collect the remains, and when they arrived, found the entire town dead. They transmitted this information to their superiors before they too, were infected by the unknown lethal virus.
Leavitt and Stone were dispatched to the site, equipped for the task. They collected the satellite and two survivors, an old crazy man and a baby. After clearing the 5 sterilization levels of their top secret facility, they began working on the problem. They needed to the method of transmission, which they found to be airborne. Burton, the pathologist was in charge of autopsy and finding the cause of death. The virus was so lethal, people died before even having had a chance to bleed.