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Book Review: Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching

Michael Greger, M.D. (416 pages, hardcover, Lantern Books, $30;

Michael Greger, M.D. (416 pages, hardcover, Lantern Books, $30; www.lanternbooks.com)

For those who’ve been following the news of outbreaks of bird flu as they get closer and closer to home, and for those who are blissfully ignorant of the looming specter of another global pandemic, this book provides an in-depth look at the history of avian viruses and of H5N1 in particular. The director of public health and animal agriculture for The HSUS, the author tracks the spread of H5N1 across the globe, explaining why humans (or more specifically, factory farming practices) are partially to blame for its tenacity and suggesting what we can do if the virus mutates to become human-to-human transmissible. The book is liable to scare the pants off you—descriptions of the carnage of the 1918 flu pandemic would make horror legends like George Romero and Wes Craven turn green with envy—but it also provides tips on how you can prepare for the worst. To read the book online for free, visit www.BirdFluBook.org.

 

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