BIG FARMS MAKE BIG FLU: Backstory on the Coronavirus 2

Monthly Review

Epidemiologist Rob Wallace is devoting his life to studying the origin, distribution, and control of global epidemics. His book, Big Farms Make Big Flu, reveals a large part of the backstory to the coronavirus—and to the epidemics that are to come. 

NOW thru APRIL 17: eBook $5; Paperback $10 (plus shipping)

Big Farms Make Big Flu 

Dispatches on Infectious Disease, Agribusiness, and the Nature of Science

by Rob Wallace

“If you've missed the wit and brilliance of Stephen Jay Gould, here's consolation: holistic, radical science from the frontlines of the battle against emergent diseases.”
Mike Davis, author, Planet of Slums

Thanks to breakthroughs in production and food science, agribusiness has been able to devise new ways to grow more food and get it more places more quickly. There is no shortage of news items on the hundreds of thousands of hybrid poultry—each animal genetically identical to the next—packed together in megabarns, grown out in a matter of months, then slaughtered, processed, and shipped to the other side of the globe. Less well known are the deadly pathogens mutating in, and emerging out of, these specialized agro-environments. In fact, many of the most dangerous new diseases in humans can be traced back to such food systems, among them Campylobacter, Nipah virus, Q fever, hepatitis E, and a variety of novel influenza variants.

While many books cover facets of food or outbreaks, Wallace’s collection is the first to explore infectious disease, agriculture, economics, and the nature of science together.

Read MR author Rob Wallace on the virus, via MR Online:

Capitalism is a disease hotspot

Q: How dangerous is the new coronavirus?

A: “It depends on where you are in the timing of your local outbreak of Covid-19: early, peak level, late? How good is your region’s public health response? What are your demographics? How old are you? Are you immunologically compromised? What is your underlying health? To ask an undiagnosable possibility, do your immuogenetics, the genetics underlying your immune response, line up with the virus or not?...”

Notes on a novel coronavirus

“A new deadly coronavirus 2019-nCoV, related to SARS and MERS and apparently originating in live animal markets in Wuhan, China, is starting to spread worldwide. Chinese authorities have reported 5974 cases nationwide, 1000 of them severe. With infections in nearly every province, authorities warned 2019-nCoV appears to be spreading fast out of its epicenter. The characterization appears supported by initial modeling..”

400 pages | $10 pbk

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Rob Wallace s an evolutionary biologist and public health phylogeographer presently visiting the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota. Besides Big Farms Make Big Flu (2016), he is the author of the forthcoming Revolution Space, both with Monthly Review Press. He has consulted for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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