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The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu


The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu

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    Available in PDF Format | The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu.pdf | English
    Mike Davis(Author)
Avian influenza is a viral asteroid on a collision course with humanity. In 1918 a pandemic strain of influenza killed at least 40 million people in three months. Now, leading researchers believe, another world catastrophe is imminent. A virus of astonishing lethality, known as H5N1, has become entrenched in the poultry and wild bird populations of East Asia. It kills two out of three people it infects. The World Health Organisation warns that it is on the verge of mutating into a super-contagious pandemic form that could visit several billion homes within two years. In this urgent and extraordinarily frightening book, Mike Davis reconstructs the scientific and political history of a viral apocalypse-in-the-making, exposing the central roles of agribusiness and the fast-food industries, abetted by corrupt governments, in creating the ecological conditions for the emergence of this new plague. He also details the scandalous failure of the Bush administration, obsessed with hypothetical bio-terrorism, to safeguard Americans from the greatest biological threat since HIV/AIDS. sacrificed the poor in Africa and South Asia, for whom, in the almost certain event of a pandemic, there will be no anti-virals or vaccines.

Is this scaremongering? A lot of people seem to think so. THey should read this short's argument is irrefutable. --The Independentunveils a catalogue of lies, cover-ups, complacency, negligence - and willingness to put the profits of big business above public health - in rich and poor countries alike. --The Daily Maildocuments in gripping fashion... the appalling culture of poverty and secrecty that allowed H5N1 to flourish in South China and spread elsewhere --The TImes

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Printable? Yes

Book details

  • PDF | 192 pages
  • Mike Davis(Author)
  • The New Press (1 Feb. 2007)
  • English
  • 9
  • Health, Family & Lifestyle

Review Text

  • By reviewer on 21 November 2005

    If you're an animal lover, don't read this book, with its tales of duck massacres and chicken exterminations. However, Mike Davis' latest rip-roaring tale is a good view into the latest health scare to grip the developed world...avian flu.We've all become acquainted with the horrors of H5N1, or, as it's more commonly thought about, the flu which is harboured in the millions and billions of chickens, ducks and other cute and cuddly dim sum protagonists. Davis, an urban geographer who writes well about death & disaster, has picked up on avian flu as an example of the 'global' threats we face in a globalized world.Davis makes some good points. He doesn't only focus on the virus, or on scientific details - he blends his analysis with social and political commentary, and focuses on the way the flu, if it ever became a pandemic, would hit the West hard, and the Third World even harder. He uses his work on ghettos and Third World urbanization to good effect when trying to impress upon the reader that flu would be a disaster mainly for those living in impoverished areas. Lastly, he catalogues little-known governmental failures in protecting the government against flu.Davis writes well, but this book is surprisingly thin, and feels as though the publisher's marketing department decided it was the 'next best thing' and forsook depth for general B-movie appeal. It also makes some unconvincing points - in criticizing big pharma (which does need to be criticized), Davis isn't clear on whether he thinks it's big pharma or government which should take ultimate responsibility for flu vaccines, Tamiflu distribution and the like. And his use of apocalyptic statistics - claiming that up to 100 million died in the 1918 flu when the WHO states that it was 'at least 40 million' - does not endear. Lastly, it isn't clear what solutions, if any, he is proposing.In short, a book definitely worth a read, but perhaps Davis' weakest to date.

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