For example, pigs once transmitted whooping cough to humans. Tuberculosis, one of the terminal illnesses of recent decades, was transmitted from goats. Smallpox came from camels, and leprosy from buffalo. At present, the American physician Michael Greger believes that chickens might be dangerous.
The current COVID-19 pandemic is perceived by many as one of the greatest ordeals that humanity has come to face with over the past century. In fact, more than 24 million people who got infected, more than 850,000 deaths and the continuing rise in cases in some countries make it impossible to perceive COVID-19 as a virus for which mankind was simply not ready. In addition, it is obvious that the novel coronavirus itself will not disappear even after the vaccine is invented. Chances are there will be local outbreaks 1 or 2 times a year. Moreover, all that is left to do is only to dream of an outcome of this kind, because this situation requires the curbing of the pandemic as a minimum. In this respect, the future looks vague.
New Pandemic Might Kill Half of World's Population
Meanwhile, according to Michael Greger, an American scientist, humanity should worry not about the current pandemic but about a new and much more serious threat. According to him, in the future, mankind might face with a much more dangerous pandemic that will kill half of the world's population. This statement was made by Greger in a conversation with the Daily Mail reporters, as he commented on his book where he described the essence and possible causes of the new threat in detail.
According to Greger, numerous poultry farms with millions of chickens are at risk of a new pandemic. In his book Greger says that animals have always been the cause of the biggest epidemics and deadly diseases that humanity might come to grips with. For example, pigs once transmitted whooping cough to humans. Tuberculosis, one of the terminal illnesses of recent decades, was transmitted from goats. Smallpox came from camels, and leprosy from the buffalo. At present, Michael Greger believes that chickens might be dangerous.
“Today, chickens are kept at poultry farms in absolutely terrible conditions,” Greger said. “Each bird has only an area of a couple of tens of centimeters. In addition, chickens are doped up with various drugs. There is always the highest level of evaporation from litter in the hangars where they are kept. That is why chickens might cause a new strain of influenza virus in the near future. It might spread rapidly and lead to an even more large-scale pandemic.”
In his research, Greger often draws parallels with the Spanish flu, the epidemic of which is currently considered the most deadly in the history of mankind. At that time, it should be recalled that, according to various estimates, up to 500 million people were infected, and almost 50 million people passed away from it. Only in 2005, scientists managed to establish the source of this terrible disease. It turned out that it came from birds.
Mankind Accidentally Avoided Disaster
In addition, Greger recalls the strain of avian flu. First, it appeared in the late 1990s. It was transmitted only from birds to people. This fact made it possible to avoid serious consequences and an active spread of the disease.
Already then scientists said that there were only a few mutations left for the virus to be transmitted from person to person. If it had happened, a large-scale pandemic could have been started as early as in 1997 and 1998. It might have been bigger causing more deaths than the epidemic of the Spanish flu. In fact, a large-scale catastrophe was about to start, and only by chance humanity avoided it.
Greger recalls that in February 2020, there were outbreaks of avian flu on several Chinese poultry farms. They killed about 4,000 birds. Another 18,000 birds had to be killed to avoid the spread of the disease. In Greger’s opinion, the incident went unnoticed only due to the much-publicized COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Michael Greger underlines that a new pandemic still might be avoided but the measure that would help escape the future of this kind looks very drastic, as it will require the extermination of all hens. And this is something that is simply impossible.
There is also another option. According to Greger, it presupposes fundamental changes in conditions of keeping the birds on the farms. They should be raised in the same old way and stop being doped up with antiviral drugs of all kinds.