Bird Flu - A Virus of Our Own Hatching
by Michael Greger, MD
Lantern Books, New York, 2006, ISBN: 1-59056-098-1
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.
"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, Colorado State University Distinguished Professor
"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, PhD, 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, PhD, DSc(Hon), CBiol, FIBiol, Professor Emeritus at the University of Hong Kong
"The book is a zinger..." - From leading flu scientist John Oxford's review in Nature
"The book is timely, well-researched, and particularly incisive on farming methods worldwide... this is a valuable resource for scientists and the public alike." - Xavier Bosch's review in the Journal of the American Medical Association
"Greger's superb story-telling ability makes every page of the book interesting and fascinating for both specialist and layperson... Numerous quotes, pretty illustrations, vivid titles and clear writing make reading really a pleasure... Dr. Greger's simple and practical suggestions are invaluable for both nation and individual... Greger's book is the best of its genre and deserves to be read by anyone who is concerned about human and animal health. This book is a must read for government and enterprise officials who are advocating and advancing poultry industry standards... I highly recommend it." - Noted virologists Chengfeng Qin and Ede Qin (Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity) in their review in Virology Journal
About Dr. Greger
Michael Greger, M.D., is Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. An internationally recognized lecturer, he has presented at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, among countless other symposia and institutions, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.
Dr. Greger is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. His other books include Carbophobia.
All of the proceeds Dr. Greger receives from his books and speaking engagements are donated to charity.