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Timely Book On Bird Flu 174

Posted by kdawson
from the take-care-out-there dept.
Lifelongactivist writes, "A new free book about bird flu has been published by Michael Greger, M.D., the US Humane Society's director of public health and animal agriculture. Bird Flu: a Virus of Our Own Hatching (the site contains the entire book text) tells why modern industrialized agricultural methods, including factory farming, antibiotics misuse, and the use of animal refuse as a food source (!) for chickens and other livestock, have led to a staggering increase in the number of 'zoonotic' diseases that can leap from animals to people, and make a bird flu pandemic likely. The book discusses in practical terms what you can do to prevent infection and what to do if you do catch the disease. The book is especially timely given yesterday's news that a new, vaccine-resistant variant of H5N1 has been detected in China."
Update: 10/31 19:44 GMT by KD : Corrected to read "vaccine-resistant."
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Timely Book On Bird Flu

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't suppose they recommend eating a bowl of chicken noodle soup, do they?
    • Actually, there is a very similar home treatment recommended here: http://www.fluwikie.com/uploads/Consequences/NewGu ideOct7b.pdf [fluwikie.com] It's called Oral Rehydration Therapy, and I'm getting together the ingredients this week.

      Another preparation that's recommended is that you have a surgical face mask to avoid breathing in the virus, and to avoid spreading it if you're infected but not showing symtoms. Here's a reference: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncont rol/maskguidance.htm [cdc.gov]

      I've heard sev
      • by kfg (145172)
        Another preparation that's recommended is that you have a surgical face mask to avoid breathing in the virus

        The flu virus is not airborne; it is contact spread. The most common sources of infection are doorknobs and money, but the most common source of infection by the Avian Flu is from handling birds. Wear gloves.

        Wearing a surgical mask is not to prevent you from catching the flu virus, it is to prevent you from spreading it when you sneeze on people/things, putting them into contact with your infected, pr
        • ..it is to prevent you from spreading it when you sneeze on people/things, putting them into contact with your infected, precious bodily fluids.

          I hear that restricting one's liquid intake to grain alcohol and rainwater works wonders for avian flu..

        • by NerveGas (168686)

          "The flu virus is not airborne; it is contact spread."

          Yes, but it's a respiratory virus. That means that the afflicted person needs to get the virus out through the mouth or nasal passages - like rubbing their noses, or sneezing. It also means that you have to get some on you, and then get it into your respiratory tract - like rubbing your eyes or nose, chewing your nails, etc.. Wearing a mask helps prevent the spread on both ends, even if it just keeps people from sneezing on you, and keeps you from p

      • by NerveGas (168686)
        "It's called Oral Rehydration Therapy, and I'm getting together the ingredients this week. "

        You're getting the ingredients together this week? Man, if you don't already have water, sugar, and salt, then you might be in trouble. :-)

        The sugar and salt method is used because almost EVERYONE has those ingredients available, not because it's the best. It is enough, though, that even with severe diarrhea, you can survive almost indefinitely - certainly long enough to get medical ca
      • by NerveGas (168686)

        "how do we operate the city when 30-40% of our staff are out sick themselves or busy at home caring for their family members"

        An even better approach would be "How can we send as many people as possible home, so we're not contributing to the problem by having them spread it around at the office?"

  • by the_humeister (922869) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @02:45PM (#16661887)
    The book is especially timely given yesterday's news that a new, antibiotics-resistant variant of H5N1 has been detected in China
    It's a virus! Antibiotics are for bacterial-type infections. A vaccine is not an antibiotic.
    • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @02:53PM (#16662045) Homepage
      Oh for god sake, who asked you to inject facts into what is clearly an article targeted at fear mongering?
      • What's the logic? (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I don't understand your use of the polemic "fear mongering", nor do I see why this book is "clearly" a case of it. Is the logic, "if I don't like the message it's fear mongerging, but if approve of the message it's a sober wake-up call?" Seems like the authors of the book did *a lot* more research than you have.
      • by Abcd1234 (188840)
        Feel free to mod me down, I was reacting to the use of the word "antibiotic" (teach me to trust the frickin' article summary). Overuse of anti-virals could certainly contribute to an increased population of anti-viral resistant strains, which is definitely a concern when looking at the potential for pandemics.
    • Still...it is a true statement. Can't exactly dock him for being not factual.
      • by h4rm0ny (722443)

        It seems that the fault is entirely on the parts of the submitter and editor, as the linked article clearly says vaccine resistant.

        That idiocy dispensed with, the problem is less modern farming techniques (although these are bad and do contribute) so much as it is modern concentrated population centres and rapid world wide travel. Someone picks up something nasty in korea and the next day they're spreading round the dense population of New York.
    • Anti (Against)- Biotic (Relating to Life)...
      Antibiotic- Anti-Life, so technically a viral immunization could be considered an antibiotic (as long as you consider a virus to be alive, which is an open scientific question). The the virus itself could also be considered antibiotic, as could anti-freeze and anti-personnel mines. It sounds nitpicky, but no more so than usual for slashdot. The editor should probably go back and insert antiviral resistant, and penicillin should probably be referred to as anti-b
    • by kdawson (3715)
      I applied a correction: the article says "vaccine-resistant." It was wrong in the submission and I missed it.
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @02:46PM (#16661915)

    The book is especially timely given yesterday's news that a new, antibiotics-resistant variant of H5N1 has been detected in China."


    Slashdot folk should be bright enough to know better. ALL viri are 100% immune to antibiotics. Antibiotics only work against germ based diseases.



    Anyway.... Someday we will get another major pandemic, and yes our modern industrial livestock methods will contribute some to it. But they popped up before and will still pop up if we abandoned it. The question for debate is: are the potential savings from lowering the odds of a pandenic worth the certain loss of life from famine and all it's attendant problems that would result from losing the food production capacity gained from industrialization.

    • by kfg (145172)
      The question for debate is: are the potential savings from lowering the odds of a pandenic worth the certain loss of life from famine and all it's attendant problems that would result from losing the food production capacity gained from industrialization.

      First demonstrate that there would actually be any such loss of food production.

      KFG
    • by Gothmolly (148874)
      There wouldn't be certain loss of life from famine if we stopped mass-producing livestock, since you can grow much more grain than meat on a piece of land.
      • There wouldn't be certain loss of life from famine if we stopped mass-producing livestock, since you can grow much more grain than meat on a piece of land.

        But which would you prefer, a big bowl of oats or a nice juicy burger? Meat is so much tastier then grain, let the cows eat it and we'll eat them. ;)
      • by Moofie (22272)
        If the nutritional output of a field of grain were identical to a herd of cattle, you might have a point. Since they're not, you don't.

        Humans have pointy teeth for a reason.
      • by Mab_Mass (903149)

        you can grow much more grain than meat on a piece of land.

        In most cases, you are correct, and if I put your quote back in context of your comment, you are correct. However, there are still some circumstances where meat wins, such as on very steep hillsides, etc. where the animals are able to feed themselves through grazing on land unsuitable for growing grain.

        I don't mean to be pedantic here. My point is really that there are alternatives to mass production that do make efficient use of the land, a

      • There wouldn't be certain loss of life from famine if we stopped mass-producing livestock, since you can grow much more grain than meat on a piece of land.

        Actually there would be a significant loss of life if we drastically changed our agriculture away from livestock.

        Only the loss of life would not happen in the wealthy countries.

        It is safe to say that we have evolved with livestock as a major part of our agricultire program.

        You might have a more intelligent design. But for me, I'll stick to the proven res

      • by Gordonjcp (186804)
        There wouldn't be certain loss of life from famine if we stopped mass-producing livestock, since you can grow much more grain than meat on a piece of land.

        Unfortunately, that's only true for a tiny, tiny percentage of the Earth's surface. I produce hell of a lot of food from raising livestock. I challenge you to come round to mine and produce as much as a hundredweight of grain from the same piece of land.
    • by mspohr (589790)
      The conversion factor of grain to livestock varies from 14:1 for beef to 7:1 for chickens.

      If we stopped feeding animals this grain, there would be a lot more for people to eat (as well as ridding ourselves of the problems caused by industrial scale meat production). (doubleplusgood)

      • by jmorris42 (1458) *
        > If we stopped feeding animals this grain, there would be a lot more for people to eat

        Plants are what food eats.

        Ok, old joke and I know we H. Sapiens are actuallu omnivores who need a balanced diet of both to thrive but the point is still valid. We aren't made to be vegetarians and I damned sure ain't giving up yummy meat. Besides, who wants to get vaginatitus. :)
        • by mspohr (589790)

          Besides, who wants to get vaginatitus.

          ...and I damned sure ain't giving up yummy meat

          For "vaginatitus", Firefox spell check suggests:

          - unimaginative

          - imaginatively

          - paginations

          I don't know what you had in mind but it sure sounds bad.... (could it be some disease that takes over the vagina and tits?)... or perhaps you get if from "your yummy meat"... Anyway, I doubt you could get it from eating vegetables or we would have heard of it by now.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)
        The conversion factor of grain to livestock varies from 14:1 for beef to 7:1 for chickens.

        So what? We're omnivores, and we require both plants and animals in our diet for optimum health.

        Turning all land to growing grain won't help anyone survive (except the livestock). There is NO lack of food in the world right now that could be fixed by growing more food. We could grow 10x the amount of food as we do now, and people would still be starving all over the world. If you want to stop famine, you have to do
        • by mspohr (589790)
          Perhaps this link could help you:

          Medscape Medical News "Vegetable Consumption Slows Rate of Cognitive Decline" http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/546472?src=mp [medscape.com]

          It sounds like an easier path than the old fashioned imperialism thing which isn't working too well now.

          • by Grishnakh (216268)
            Your link is broken.
            • by mspohr (589790)
              Sorry, aparently this requires registration. Here's the start of the article:

              Vegetable Consumption Slows Rate of Cognitive Decline

              News Author: Caroline Cassels

              October 24, 2006 -- A study has shown an association between slowed cognitive decline and vegetable consumption.

              Individuals who consumed at least 2.8 servings of vegetables per day slowed their rate of cognitive decline by roughly 40% compared with those who consumed less than 1 serving per day -- a decrease that is equivalent to about 5 yea

              • by Grishnakh (216268)
                All this does is support the old-fashioned notion that a well-balanced diet is best for optimum health. That means both meat and vegetables, not one or the other.
                • by mspohr (589790)
                  Actually, the article supports the value of vegetables and says nothing about meat.

                  Many other studies have shown that meat isn't very good for you due to high fat (bad saturated fat) and other problems. Here's one example that came in my email today that shows the advantage of the "Mediterranean diet":

                  Mediterranean Diet Linked to Lower Alzheimer's Risk

                  News Author: Caroline Cassels

                  October 20, 2006 -- Consuming a Mediterranean diet can significantly reduce Alzheimer's Disease (AD) risk, but not necessa

        • We're omnivores, and we require both plants and animals in our diet for optimum health.

          There is no nutritional requirement for flesh food, or indeed for animal foods of any sort, in the human diet, as the the existance of legions of healthy vegetarians and vegans proves. (Which is not to say that there are not healthful diets that contain flesh foods, and unhealthful vegan diets.)

          Turning all land to growing grain won't help anyone survive (except the livestock).

          Moving towards a plant-centered diet

          • by Grishnakh (216268)
            And avoiding killing sentient beings for our own pleasure is also a good idea.

            What about all the plants that you kill? They're sentient too: they have senses. How else do plants turn towards the sun?

            By your own definition, you shouldn't be eating any type of living organism. Maybe you could eat some mud. Oh wait, that probably has living bacteria in it.
            • by Frymaster (171343)
              What about all the plants that you kill? They're sentient too: they have senses. How else do plants turn towards the sun?

              well, assuming you're not just being a pedant, i would suggest that if you were truly concerned about the well-being of plants you would become a vegan. remember, cows eat plants. when you eat cows you kill the cow, and the plants the cow ate. add to this the dramatic inefficiency of turning plant calories into cow calories and that burger means the death of a dozen bread loaves worth o

          • by Gordonjcp (186804)
            as the the existance of legions of healthy vegetarians and vegans proves

            I've never met a healthy vegan yet. Come to that, most of the vegetarians I know always seem to have *something* wrong with them, often to do with allergies. Maybe they have some kind of deficiency.
    • by cesoid (1020893)
      The article linked talks about an anti-body (anti-viral) resistant strain, the name is just a typo. This is hopefully obvious to most readers. But they popped up before and will still pop up if we abandoned it. This is true, but the point is that if we continue as we are now, they will become much more frequent and deadly. Also, as Gregor discusses in the book, many of the diseases we had grown accustomed to (and in large part eradicated by the 70's) actually come not from industrializing meat, but by dom
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``The question for debate is: are the potential savings from lowering the odds of a pandenic worth the certain loss of life from famine and all it's attendant problems that would result from losing the food production capacity gained from industrialization.''

      A lot of food we produce is not eaten by us, but by the animals we raise for later consumption. We could produce a lot more food if we cut out the indirection and ate that food ourselves. Of course, we would need to take care that we produce something c
  • ... has a way of "balancing things out". The current population of the planet is only possible thanks to technological advancements such as tech that allows for us to create more food and move it to where the people are. Now, as the population goes up, you need to increase the output of food. It seems that perhaps we are hitting a limit, where we can't product enough food (given current methods) without causing a huge human plague, and mother nature is going to tell us that here pretty soon.
    • How does technology, population size and food production equate to a plague, much less an anthropomorphic deity telling us squat? It's just not that simple. If people would wash their hands more, wear masks, etc, the flu would be almost non-existent. Those are social norms, not technology or population dependent.

      And at no point does some woman in a billowy outfit ever come into the picture.
    • by foobsr (693224)
      technological advancements such as tech that allows for us to create more food and move it to where the people are

      There must be a flaw in the system:

      Quote: [fhfh.org]
      Based on the Census Bureau survey, USDA estimates that in 2000, 10.5 million U.S. households were food insecure, meaning that they did not have access to enough food to meet their basic needs.

      CC.
    • by Grishnakh (216268)
      ... has a way of "balancing things out". The current population of the planet is only possible thanks to technological advancements such as tech that allows for us to create more food and move it to where the people are. Now, as the population goes up, you need to increase the output of food. It seems that perhaps we are hitting a limit, where we can't product enough food (given current methods) without causing a huge human plague, and mother nature is going to tell us that here pretty soon.

      Another way we c
    • by owlnation (858981)

      ... has a way of "balancing things out"

      It's certainly true that changes in elements of an ecosystem due to for example, changes in food supply, can restore a degree of natural balance over a number of years.

      However, this is in no way guaranteed or necessarily a "natural" system. There is (I'm afraid) no evidence of a Mother Nature. Species die out. Species have been failing and dying out spectacularly since the beginning of life.

      While mankind has been spectacularly destructive and exploitative in t

  • by gowen (141411)
    Sounds like nothing we didn't learn from BSE (Mad Cow Disease), At least that stopped British farmers inserting brain matter back into the food chain.
  • I must get a vaccine so I don't get strep throat. Help. I have the flu, I demand Pennicillin. I'm just making fun of the post after post of the same subject. Its like a viral post where everyone posts the same thing in different words, Yay for technology.
  • I haven't heard about the Bird Flu for a while, the panic has past. I think the word you were looking for is Late.
    • by owlnation (858981)
      I haven't heard about the Bird Flu for a while, the panic has past.
      Sorry, no. It's seasonal. Bird Migration for example being a factor. You hadn't heard much about it since last season. This is the new Bird flu season. Now's the time the reports will increase again.
  • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @02:51PM (#16662027) Journal
    Antibiotics work on bacteria, not on viruses. This new virus is not stopped by the current vaccine, although the reason for that is unclear.

    Flu has something somewhat like chromosomes: different strands of genetic material that can mix and recombine. As a result there are many, many subvarieties of influenza. The way vaccination works (currently and for the forseeable future) is it presents parts of the virus to your immune system so your immune system can subsequently recognize them and fight them off. We can't present every single possible viral coat in one shot (mostly because we haven't ever encountered most of them so we don't have any way of making them to put into the shot) so what we do is take the viruses that are currently active in China, put those in the shot, and give those to suseptible populations. It's a different mix every single year, and it sounds like now this one has changed enough it's time for another mix, just like every other year.

    A reason that flu is particularly worrisome is that it's shared between pigs, chickens, and humans, which is somewhat unusual; in many places in the world people, pigs, and chickens live in close contact, which makes cross-infection easy; and when a person, pig or chicken catches two different varieties of flu, they can recombine (because of the multiple strands of genetic material) and create a whole new variety that is unlike anything seen before. The new variety will suddenly have a whole world of unprepared immune systems to go attack, so it'll do very well indeed for a while.
    • Antibiotics work on bacteria...

      Except when they stop working.

      Antibiotics-resistant bacteria are way scarier, IMO, especially since you're more likely to get infected by them where you go for treatment (ie hospitals).
      • Hospital infections, for your vocabulary experience of the day, are called nosocomial diseases. Impress people! Or just betray your geekiness.

        It's a hard call which are scarier. Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis is likely to be this decade's AIDS: slowly but inescapably lethal. Some of the most horrible, quick diseases are also bacterial: necrotizing fasciitis, pneumonic plague. But there are also some seriously horrible viral diseases. In all honesty, we should still call AIDS 99% fatal, and hantaviru
  • Please let's be clear, it's not antibiotic resistant, because the flu is not a bacteria it's a virus. It's a vaccine resistant strain, which is very different.

    It means the chickens aren't protected from GETTING this strain of bird flu. However once they have it there's no drug that currently exists to treat it, it all comes down to one's own immune system (however in the case of chickens it simply means death since I can't see a hospital being set up to care for them and give them hot chicken soup... neve
  • I've never understood the huge stress people put on the bird flu. Maybe it is 10 times as likely to mutate to kill millions as any other virus... but there are millions of different viruses. The billions we spend on defending against what might someday become a threat of unknown proportion... would be far better spent on general virus research. Otherwise chances are another virus will mutate and kill us all while we wait for the bird flu to do the same. It's just another excuse to waste all our money.
    • by jandrese (485)
      The fear is because not only is it a relatively minor mutation to make the virus compatable with humans, but we have historical evidence that a very similar thing has happened in the past. The 1918 flu that killed between 20 to 40 million people worldwide is considered to be a reasonable preview to what would happen if H5N1 mutated into a human transmissable form. While it's true that virtually any virus could mutate into something deadly to humans and rapidly transmissable, the amount of mutation require
    • Agreed, more FUD. Anyone remember West Nile? That was the panic du jour before bird flu, but it didn't really do much and is now off the media radar. It's a perfect example of another media generated crisis that's not really panning out.

      The article does make some good points about antibiotic misuse and this has been a pet peeve of mine for a while that I think is a cause for genuine concern. Diseases like MRSA can be devastating (I have a friend with it who has not been able to work since May, and is l
    • by arkhan_jg (618674)
      There are lots of viruses, and we call a bunch of them 'flu'. Each year, there are different strains that spread around and kill people (mostly the young and the elderly) which is why there's a different vaccine every year. They already research many, many strains to try and predict which will be the annual or even the next 'big' one.

      There have been a number of flu pandemics. Millions died in 1918. Smaller pandemics happened in 1957 and 1968. Flu is one of the hardest viruses to prevent infection, because o
  • by chuck (477) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:02PM (#16662211) Homepage

    The researchers collected 53,220 fecal samples from chickens, geese and ducks in poultry markets in six Chinese provinces between July 2005 and June 2006.

    I'm glad I'm a programmer.
  • Nonsense. (Score:3, Informative)

    by FellowConspirator (882908) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:06PM (#16662273)
    Since several already beat me to the antibiotics being for bacteria and not viruses, I'll have to add:

    If the theory is that the industrial farming of livestock leads to cross-species infection, then there's not a lot to indicate that. Bird flu is a particularly good example, seeing as how the H5N1 strain mentioned originated in poultry from pre-industrial style farms in southeast Asia. All of the cases outside of that region have been detected in wild birds. Crossing species has only been reported among people in those areas where there's protracted contact with the birds.

    The referenced site overstates the virulence of the H5N1 flu as well.

    Antibiotics don't select for strains of the virus, and strictly speaking neither do vaccinations.

    Animal products being fed to the same species can be a problem for prion-based disorders, but that represents a very situation that produces a toxin, not a virulent disease.

    As far as treatment for it, that's easy. There's only two: vaccination, and transfusion of blood from someone that's already had it. Other than that, you just treat the symptoms and hope for the best.
    • by NerveGas (168686)

      "Antibiotics don't select for strains of the virus, and strictly speaking neither do vaccinations."

      Sure, vaccinations do, at least in some cases - including the flu. That's why the flu shot you get each year only works against certain strains of the influenze virus, and why they don't work against H5N1.

      "Animal products being fed to the same species can be a problem for prion-based disorders, but that represents a very situation that produces a toxin, not a virulent disease."

      They also represent a

    • Chickens in your backyard are exposed to both humans and wild birds.

      Industrial farming keeps the birds inside. They might never even see sunshine, never mind having contact with wild birds.

      The guy clearly ignores the facts to push his political agenda. He'd be demanding that all farms everywhere be factory-style if he were honest.
  • Bird flu is a bird disease. Although there are cases where people have managed to catch it from birds, they are extremely rare, only a few hundred in the whole world. Worry more about shark attacks.
    • Um, the 1918 flu pandemic that killed around 40 million people worldwide WAS the bird flu.

      Show me 40 million shark deaths anywhere in history and we'll talk.

  • Make it a movie. Preferably one starring Jean Claude van Damme and a suitably attractive love interest who save the world from a deadly strain of bird flu. I'd be all over that.
  • by radtea (464814) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:16PM (#16662443)
    modern industrialized agricultural methods, including factory farming, antibiotics misuse, and the use of animal refuse as a food source (!) for chickens and other livestock, have led to a staggering increase in the number of 'zoonotic' diseases that can leap from animals to people, and make a bird flu pandemic likely

    Which claim raises the question: why is it that flu pandemics always originate in the Far East, where none of these things are prevalent?

    The conventional wisdom is that in the Orient there is far more routine contact between human beings and food animals, and far less emphasis on maintaining a relatively hygenic environment in the places where such contact occurs. Part of this is cultural (some food animals in China are typically sold to consumerss while still alive) and part of it is economic (factory farming is capital intensive, and agriculture has tended to lag other industries in industrialization. The transfer of viruses between humans and animals made possible by this routine contact is what produces cross-species pandemics.

    On the other hand, factory farming keeps animals pretty much completely isolated from humans (and the outdoors, freedom to move, wild grasses, and everything else.)

    So while I'm no fan of all aspects of modern factory farming, I have very little doubt that it is at least partly responsible for the relative scarcity of flu pandemics that originate in the West.

    The article itself is just fud, and the person submitting it is not an environmentalist, but rather just another religious kook who has wandered into the wrong movement.
  • the use of animal refuse as a food source

    Eat recycled food, for a happier, healthier life. Be kind and peaceful to each other, eat recycled food. Recycled food - it's good for the environment, and ok for you.
    • I hear there's going to be shortages of soylent green next Tuesday. I hope I can get near the front of the line.
  • is chicken copulation out of the question? You know, just out of curiosity....
  • I don't want to downplay this too much, even my place of work has a new phone tree in case we need to call people to tell them everyone's dead...

    But haven't more people died from spinach, indeed, from pretty much anything else that's deadly, than bird flu? I'm not saying it won't be eventually become more prevalent, but I think the likelihood of getting hit by a jet airliner's frozen poop is proba.....
  • This is the kind of fear mongering which is used to divert peoples attention from real issues.
    Although the author may be exploiting the media hype for his own ego. There are other problems/viruses that are here now and are killing people. West Nile virus, deer tick virus, Lyme disease. But lets all concentrate only on something that hasn't even materialized yet. Why not worry about one of these mutating into something worse.
    This is tantamount to worrying about gay marriage instead of the 2800 US soldie
  • This book sounds like it does a pretty good job of explaining many of the issues, often caused by the greed of the factory farming and agribusiness companies which seek to maximise profit, at the expense of everything else. The fact that chickens are fed shit (literally), and kept in inhumane and unhealthy conditions has been well known for years. We also see this in the cattle industry, where cows were fed parts of other animals, which may have led to mad cow disease. Cows are herbivorous, and should not e
  • Traditional farming where people are in close regular contact with their pigs and their birds is just the thing for mixing and incubating cross-species infections. Factory farming means the animals are overcrowded and disease-prone but doesn't create the evolutionary niche for cross-platform bugs.
  • It is a tribute to us all that this article was tagged "FUD".
  • tells why modern industrialized agricultural methods, including factory farming, antibiotics misuse, and the use of animal refuse as a food source (!) for chickens and other livestock, have led to a staggering increase in the number of 'zoonotic' diseases

    Staggering increase? Due to modern industrialized agricultural methods?

    The fact is, pandemics have increased in the past couple hundred years because people are able to travel further, faster. That's the only reason pandemic are relatively modern. Epidemic
  • by Pete Davies. It covers both the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed up to 40 million people as well as more recent outbreaks and current projects in the field.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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