Via The New York Review of Books, Dr. Annie Sparrow reviews Sonia Shah's Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond: The Awful Diseases on the Way by Annie Sparrow. It's a wonderful review by a knowledgeable writer. Excerpt:
Shah’s thesis is that pandemics are the product of complex human behavior. In her view, development, urbanization, and population growth transform harmless animal microbes into human pathogens. Empire-building takes humans into animal habitats, while climate change caused by human activity and deforestation forces animals into urban areas; industrial poultry, cattle, and pig farms also bring humans into greater contact with animals.
The “cholera paradigm” is a term coined by the microbiologist Rita Colwell. It means that the environment—biological, social, political, and economic—is both the source and driver of today’s emerging diseases in ways resembling the spread of cholera.
And as long as we're on the subject, here's my Tyee review of the book—equally positive, but not as well informed as Dr. Sparrow's.