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8.4: Disease and Pollution

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    Not to mention the globalization of disease and pollution. With cheap, easy travel and trade, diseases spread quickly. The 2020 Coronavirus travelled from Wuhan all over the world in just a few months. (Also see the app Plague Inc. and the movies Rise of Planet of the Apes, 12 Monkeys, and Contagion.) Laurie Garrett’s 1995 The Coming Plague described how a man kept coughing on a flight from Moscow to New York. It turned out he had drug-resistant TB and that he infected 13 other people on the plane. Since then, Zika spread through the Americas from Brazil. Ebola spread from West Africa. MERS is spreading from the Middle East. Bird flus spread worldwide from China. Most U.S. states now have West Nile virus. Meanwhile, pollution from China blows across the Pacific Ocean to the U.S., acid rain from the U.S. and Germany ends up in Canada and Scandinavia, pollution from American factories in Mexico ends up in the U.S. water supply, and rich countries export toxic waste to poor countries.

    This page titled 8.4: Disease and Pollution is shared under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Lawrence Meacham.

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