Scientist Dr. Michael Greger Claims A New ‘Apocalyptic’ Bird Flu Could ‘Wipe Out Half Of Humanity’

A chicken peers out of a cage
Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

In his new book How to Survive a Pandemic, scientist and physician Dr. Michael Greger warned that a strain of bird flu borne from chicken farms could have “apocalyptic” consequences. He added that it could have the potential to “wipe out half of humanity,” the New York Post reported earlier today.

Greger, who formerly testified for Oprah Winfrey during a “meat defamation” trial, alleged that this new virus could come from “overcrowded and unsanitary chicken farms” if nothing is done to change them.

The vegan doctor believes that as long as humans continue to eat poultry, there will always be the potential for a deadly new viral strain.

“As long as there is poultry, there will be pandemics. In the end, it may be us or them,” he asserted.

Greger firmly believes that the “entire system” used to run chicken farms would have to be dismantled and that people would eventually need to stop consuming chickens, ducks, and poultry products altogether. The first step in the process would be to move from “large scale farms” to smaller, free-range facilities.

Since chickens are kept in such unsanitary conditions, the scientist claimed that it is very easy for them to pass diseases to one another.

His belief that a potential new type of bird flu could emerge from chicken farms stems from the 1997 H5N1 outbreak in Hong Kong and the 1920 bird-based Spanish Flu outbreak. He stated that those viruses could have persisted and mutated into something deadlier.

“This is the monster lurking in the undergrowth, the one that makes epidemiologists shudder.”

The Hong Kong outbreak was traced back to a bird market, where it first infected a 3-year-old boy. The disease supposedly “curdled his blood and killed him within a week from acute respiratory and organ failure.”

In total, only 18 people were infected, but one-third of them died.

To try and stop the pandemic, government officials killed over 1 million chickens. Still, two more documented outbreaks reportedly occurred outside of China in 2003 and 2009.

In his book, Greger alleges that COVID-19’s “death rate of around half of one percent, rates a measly Category Two, possibly a Three.” If the “Big One,” as he calls it, were to manifest and cause another pandemic, it could be “100 times worse.”

Greger wrote that he believed it could quickly become a “Category Five” and produce a fatality rate of about 50 percent. He also warned that “civilization as we know it would cease.”

Earlier this month, the New York Post shared an article conveying similar sentiments from environmentalists. They warned that until humans halt the illegal wildlife trade and work to prevent the further dismantling of the environment, there will always be a threat of another deadly pandemic.

A health worker sprays disinfectant at a poultry farm
  Stringer / Getty Images