What is a summary of Chapter 5 of Contagion by Robin Cook?

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 5, Jack goes to Manhattan General, now owned by AmeriCare, in his capacity as Medical Examiner, an intimidating law enforcement capacity as witnessed by his examiner's badge, to inspect the rooms of the pneumonic plague victims and the vicinities around the rooms. His first meeting is with Dr. Wainwright who seems appalled to hear of the cause of death of the victims and who fully cooperates with Jack in organizing the first steps of the investigation. Wainwright calls the hospital infection-control officer, Dr. Mary Zimmerman, to authorize testing of every patient, while Jack goes to the seventh floor to begin his investigation.

"Not that I know of," Dr. Wainwright said, "but you can rest assured that we will find out immediately.

Things don't progress as smoothly as they begin though because Jack is later ordered out of the laboratory area where they are consulting (or being reprimanded) on the latest hospital victim to contract and die from the plague. Before Jack is ordered out by Kelly, Richard and Nancy Wiggens convince Jack they are shocked by the news of the latest victim and explain to him that since they were so far behind in the lab work and since all staff was drawing blood to test for plague, they didn't act upon noticing the first signs of the virus.

"As behind as we are in the lab, I couldn't take the time [to follow-up]. All of us ... have been drawing blood."