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.