From age-old scourges such as smallpox and tuberculosis to emerging threats like AIDS and SARS, our interactions with animals have always played a pivotal role as a source of human disease. Bird flu is the latest such menace coming home to roost. Leading public health authorities now predict as inevitable a pandemic of influenza, triggered by bird flu and expected to lead to millions of deaths around the globe.
The influenza virus has existed for millions of years as an innocuous intestinal virus of wild ducks. What turned a harmless waterborne duck virus into a killer? In Bird Flu, Dr. Michael Greger traces the human role in the evolution of this virus, whose humble beginnings belie its transformation into a killer mutant strain with the potential to become as ferocious as Ebola and as contagious as the common cold. In the face of the coming pandemic, Dr. Greger reveals what we can do to protect our families and what human society to can do to reduce the likelihood of such catastrophes in the future.
Amid the growing panic surrounding this issue, Dr. Greger takes a sobering look at a deadly cycle and offers a solution to ending it.
Here's what people are saying about Bird Flu:
"The book reads like a detective novel, but its value will be equipping readers to protect themselves from the flu.... Bird Flu will be a fine addition to the office library as we continue to plan a national response to a possible avian influenza pandemic." --Dirk Kempthorne, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
"The book is timely, well written, and very comprehensive from any reader's perspective. It also can help people understand the urgency of a possible avian flu pandemic as it now exists, and how it could affect the health and well-being of people everywhere." --Julie Gerberding, MD, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"[Greger's] contribution to research is commendable." --Colonel George W. Korch, Jr., Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases
"A brilliant and captivating book, meticulously researched, beautifully and engagingly written with wit and grace, and argued with relentless logic. In addition to providing practical take-home tips for protecting oneself from the flu, the author elegantly demonstrates that the evolution of the devastating influenza virus, as well as that of numerous other zoonotic pathogens, stems directly from the proliferation of confinement agricultural systems. Every person concerned about human and animal health and welfare, self-preservation, and justice should read this book." --Bernard Rollin, PhD, University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University
"Dr. Greger does an excellent job. His writing is lucid and sensible, and his research complete. Bird Flu is a timely work and will be an excellent resource for scientists and laypersons alike." --Earl Brown, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa
"Michael Greger has taken on the formidable task of reviewing and synthesizing the many factors contingent upon chicken production that have brought us to the influenza threat the world now faces. Drawing upon scientific literature and media reports at large, Dr. Greger explores the hole we have dug for ourselves with our own unsavoury practices.... Michael Greger has achieved much in this volume. He has taken a major step toward balancing humanity's account with animals." --Kennedy F. Shortridge, Ph.D., DSc(Hon), CBiol, FIBiol, Professor Emeritus at the University of Hong Kong
"Michael Greger's work is imbued with deep commitment, discerning intelligence, and life-affirming compassion. His work is a gift to our times." --John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution