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Ebola in the hog sector

Written by a friend of mine. Looks like biologists also use this machinery.

Industrial food production strips out environmental stochasticity that can cap pathogen population growth. The mechanisms for such explosive epidemiologies appear fundamentally founded in economic policy and practice. A variant of the Black–Scholes pricing model implies that pathogen propagation in intensive agrifood production outpaces the margins the sector allocates to biocontrol and containment across large expanses of the model’s parameter space. The resulting financial gaps appear met by externalizing the epidemiological costs of industrial food production to livestock morbidity, contract producers, farmworker and consumer health, smallholder markets, local wildlife, off-site environments, and government budgets across administrative units. By way of the models’ results, we hypothesize that as the hog sector expands for export, including across areas of Africa in which Ebola has already emerged as a human infection, multiple Ebola strains will follow Reston’s trajectory, evolving novel phenotypes in livestock and repeatedly spilling over into human populations.

Ebola in the Hog Sector: Modeling Pandemic Emergence in Commodity Livestock