The Viral Storm

The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age

 The Professor of Human Biology at Stanford ( tells a chilling tale. The virus has probably been around since the evolution of the first cell. This is a teensy bit longer than humans have been around. Three and a half billion years longer, actually. So if the whole history of humanity is a walk up Lanark High Street, the history of the virus is a walk from Lanark to Sydney Australia. Yet we seem to be affronted when they do what viruses do naturally. The little sausages replicate. The effects of their joyous replication in us is what we call HIV, bird flu, Ebola, smallpox etc. Against the backdrop of these basic facts Nathan D. Wolfe is a warrior with missionary zeal.

 His job is to protect the human race against future pandemics. Understanding is the first step, and Wolfe explains how our closeness to other animals has exposed us to pathogens. This is particularly the case with butchered meat. The story continues with the domestication of animals about 10,000 years ago. The most recent salient fact is the speed of transportation in the age of the jet aircraft. The whole globe has now been rendered into a kind of giant incubator. Wolfe then takes up the cudgels and shows what we can do to fight back. The science is very well explained. In the end the advice is similar to that of Crimewatch – Be a little concerned but go to bed and don’t have nightmares.

 ISBN: 978-0141046518

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