“When a man is getting sick in an airline seat next to you, you may not want to embarrass him by calling attention to the problem. You say to yourself that this man will be all right. Maybe he doesn’t travel well in airplanes. He is airsick, the poor man.”

— Richard Preston, The Hot Zone (1994)

hen Preston wrote these words, Marburg virus, a type of filovirus, had only been known to science for…