It was news to me, until a friend of mine went and bought it: My first book, Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, has been put into a Kindle edition.
BBtD was the first and so far only book to go inside the CDC's "outbreak police." It tells a year in the life of the first class of young physicians and PhDs to join the Epidemic Intelligence Service after the anthrax attacks — the first year, in other words, in which the EIS officers knew in advance that the possibility of confronting bioterrorism was no longer hypothetical. It tracks members of the class around the planet, from West Nile virus to foodborne illness to malaria prevention in Malawi to SARS. In alternating chapters, it also tells the hidden history of the EIS, which was founded in 1951 as a post-Korean War force for bioterror detection. Its members were in on every major disease event of the second half of the 20th century: the launch and near-failure of the polio vaccine, the end of smallpox, the beginning of AIDS, and the emergency investigation of the anthrax attacks (during which I was embedded with a CDC team).
Most important for our purposes here, BBtD takes you inside an investigation of a MRSA outbreak — in Los Angeles in 2003, when gay men who frequented sex clubs began developing cripplingly serious skin infections, and a young CDC investigator had to determine whether to call on the city to shut the clubs down...
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