By Maryn McKenna
LURKING in our houses, hospitals, faculties, and farms is a terrifying pathogen that's evolving swifter than the scientific group can song it or drug builders can create antibiotics to quell it. That pathogen is MRSA—methicillin-resistant Staphyloccocus aureus—and Superbug is the 1st e-book to inform the tale of its surprising unfold and the alarming possibility it poses to us all.
Doctors lengthy idea that MRSA was once constrained to hospitals and clinics, infecting nearly completely those that have been both already in poor health or previous. yet via extraordinary reporting, together with hundreds and hundreds of interviews with the prime researchers and medical professionals monitoring the lethal bacterium, acclaimed technology journalist Maryn McKenna unearths the hidden heritage of MRSA’s relentless advance—how it has crushed hospitals, assaulted households, and infiltrated agriculture and cattle, relocating inexorably into the foodstuff chain. Taking readers into the scientific facilities the place pissed off physicians needs to discard drug after drug as they try to maintain sufferers alive, she discloses an explosion of circumstances that display how MRSA is transforming into extra virulent, whereas evolving resistance to antibiotics with wonderful velocity. it may possibly infect us at any time, regardless of how fit we're; it's carried by way of a beautiful variety of our family pets; and it's been detected in nutrients animals from cows to chickens to pigs.
With the sensitivity of a novelist, McKenna portrays the emotional and fiscal devastation continued by way of MRSA’s sufferers, vividly describing the various stealthy ways that the pathogen overtakes the physique and the surprise and grief of oldsters whose fit youngsters have been felled via an infection in exactly hours. via dogged detective paintings, she discloses the unheard warnings that anticipated the present drawback and lays naked the failings that experience allowed MRSA to rage uncontrolled: lost govt spending, insufficient public well-being surveillance, erroneous agricultural practices, and great overuse of the few helpful medications now we have left.
Empowering readers with the data they wish for self-defense, Superbug sounds an alarm: MRSA has advanced right into a worldwide emergency that touches nearly each point of recent lifestyles. it's, as one deeply involved researcher tells McKenna, "the greatest factor due to the fact that AIDS."
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Extra info for Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA
Psychiatry and obstetrics-gynecology are also sometimes considered primary care specialties). Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are among the most common forms of managed care because employers like their lower rates and broader coverage. But these groups attempt to reduce medical costs by limiting patients’ access to specialists. Patients have to see their primary care physician (PCP) ﬁrst for diagnosis and treatment. If the generalist cannot handle the problem, he or she refers the patient to a specialist.
Although pediatrics, for instance, is still considered a specialty, a true specialist, by deﬁnition, cares for a speciﬁc region of the body or a narrowly deﬁned area of medicine. Ophthalmologists, cardiologists, urologists, and neurologists— just to name a few—all ﬁt this description. As practitioners of secondary or tertiary care medicine, specialists prefer action-oriented patient interactions. Within their narrow scope of practice, they perform many technical procedures, like cataract surgery or cardiac catheterization.
Although GPs dominated the medical scene, several specialties were in the early stages of development. But additional formal training in these areas—like ophthalmology and otolaryngology—was practically nonexistent. The postgraduate internship prepared new physicians for general practice only. If an American doctor wanted to gain more expertise in a narrow ﬁeld of medicine, a few nonstandardized options were possible. Some worked as apprentices to the small number of established specialists. Others took formal coursework at freestanding graduate medical schools or entered one of the few available residency programs.