[...] Richard Preston, in his best-selling book The Hot Zone, which tells the story of an outbreak of Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers [...], concluded in his final pages that “the earth is mounting an immune response against the human species.” By this he means that, as humans are destroying ecological environments such as the tropical rainforest, so does the earth, in a kind of role reversal, attempt “to rid itself of an infection by the human parasite” with the emergence of deadly new diseases, particularly the worldwide plague of AIDS.

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