The coronavirus emerged in the last month of the previous year in China and infected around 6 million individuals all over the world within a few months. The novel virus which is thought to be transmitted to humans via animals has already caused nearly 364,000 fatalities across the globe. Meanwhile, a scientist has claimed that a new killer virus of chicken could be life-threatening to nearly half of the population of the world.
Dr. Michael Greger, a nutritionist from the US warned that the new killer virus which harbors in poultry is more threatening to the human population than the novel coronavirus. He says that the mass chicken farming poses a high risk to humans as he described it in his book “How to Survive A Pandemic”.
Dr. Greger runs a vegan campaign. He says that the human population massively depends on meat as a food source which is a threatening situation. Meat consumption can lead to more new outbreaks of diseases in the future. He wrote in his book that the transmission of viruses between humans in a state of a pandemic. It increases the risk of this outbreak happening anytime soon.
The infection of the birds, Avian flu can infect humans in some rare cases as it happened during the outbreak of H5N1 which occurred in Hong Kong in the year 1997. As a result of this outbreak, they arranged a mass slaughter of 1.3 million chickens but the outbreaks continued since the virus was not completely eradicated.
Dr. Greger said that the method of chicken farming should be improved. It would prevent the chance of another new deadly virus outbreak. He is an advocate of taking a plant-based diet and said that the birds are cooped up in farms where there is little space for them due to which they are unable to flap their wings. They live cluttered in their dropping which has a high level of ammonia which provides a suitable environment for the spread of infection.
He explained that the poultry chicken lives in a close space due to which they are more likely to spread the disease caused by the virus living in the lungs of the chicken.
Dr. Greger claimed that if the animals are allowed to roam around freely. However, it requires providing them more space and smaller crowds by raising them in a small proportion. They can use hygienic practice can help reduce the spread of disease due to the virus.
He gave a warning that these measures might be inadequate. The farming of chicken on such a large scale will always pose a risk of an outbreak of a new killer virus. Considering the poultry and humans are linked together which provides the space to the virus to spread.
The doctor claimed that the risk of a pandemic will always be there until mass farming of the poultry is stopped. He encourages the use of a more plant-based diet. This way, it does not pose such risks of an outbreak. Also, it does not harbor any deadly viruses which can prove to be a threat to mankind.