Brief promo: SUPERBUG is out in paperback!

A brief pause for self-promotion:

My 2010 book SUPERBUG: The Fatal Menace of MRSA (Free Press/Simon & Schuster) has been released in paperback!

SUPERBUG tells, for the first time, the full 50-year history of the emergence of drug-resistant staph, MRSA, in overlapping epidemics in hospitals and health care, schools and families, and farm animals and agriculture. It’s based on 200 interviews with researchers, public health experts and MRSA victims and their families, and on about 1,100 journal articles dating back to the 1930s.

I’m open to doing a giveaway or a contest for free copies. If you have ideas for one, please leave them in the comments!

Meanwhile, here’s a sample of the praise for the hardback, published last March:

“Lays bare, often all too graphically, the ravages of a disease with the potential to do grievous international harm.” – Booklist

“A gripping account of one of the most devastating infectious agents on the planet… A meticulously researched, frightening report on a deadly pathogen.” – Kirkus

“Scalpel-sharp investigative skills … A scary and important book.” – Teresa Weaver, Atlanta Magazine

“Where will the next major epidemic come from? According to Superbug, that epidemic is already here. It grew out of our hospitals, our prisons and our high-school locker rooms. We fed it with our demand for antibiotic ointments, prescriptions we didn’t need and factory-farmed cows packed together and pumped full of their own antibiotics. We spread it with unwashed hands. The story of MRSA is more prosaic than tales of tracking Ebola through the African jungle, but that’s exactly what makes it terrifying, and fascinating.” – Maggie Koerth-Baker,

“During her years as a reporter covering the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Maryn McKenna grew accustomed to being called ‘Scary Disease Girl,’ the bearer of titillating tales of exotic ailments unlikely to affect most people. McKenna’s new book, Superbug, is less deliciously frightening and more just plain scary.” – Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Chicago Tribune

“”If you want the short version, Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA is a must read… McKenna makes it clear that this epidemic arose and persists because of human error.” – Mike The Mad Biologist, ScienceBlogs

“A readable, well-referenced, detailed and enjoyable book… Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA is painstakingly researched and credit should go to Maryn McKenna for presenting some of the issues surrounding the emergence of community-associated MRSA in a way that is readily accessible to the general public.” – Jonathan Otter, Lancet Infectious Diseases

“Superbug provides a vivid and gripping account of the spread of MRSA and should be required reading at the US Food and Drug Administration.” – Yee Huang, Center for Progressive Reform

“Through powerful storytelling, Maryn McKenna has given voice to people who have suffered at the hands of a fast-changing health threat. Superbug reminds us all that, in an age of global epidemics, our vigilance must be global, too.” – Helene D. Gayle, M.D., president and CEO of CARE

“Maryn McKenna’s compelling history proves that antibiotic resistance is a global concern. The story of drug-resistant staph actually begins in the United Kingdom in the 1940s, with the introduction of penicillin. It continues  to this day, as staphylococcus continue to develop resistance to new antibiotics as soon as they are introduced, not only in the United States but everywhere where antibiotics are used – and misused – in today’s globalized world.” – David L. Heymann, M.D., Chair, the Health Protection Agency of the United Kingdom

“As compelling as a detective novel, Superbug tells the stories of the victims of MRSA to explain how this pathogen evolved into so serious a threat to human health and medical practice. The book reveals the inextricable links between human and animal health and the disastrous consequences for human health of using antibiotics to promote the growth of farm animals. McKenna has written a devastating critique of current systems of animal agriculture, health care, and drug development, as well as the politics of research. The solution to MRSA, she says, is a vaccine. But where is the political will to pay for it?” – Marion Nestle, Professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, and author of Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety

“Like a modern-day Rachel Carson, Maryn McKenna sounds a powerful alarm about the insurgency of a deadly infection lurking in our schools, our gyms and even our food.  Antibiotics are losing their life-saving powers because of our injudicious use that has helped spawn these increasingly invincible pathogens.  By connecting the dots, Superbug may give us the early warning we need to prevent an uncontrollable epidemic.” – Shelley A. Hearne, Dr. PH, Managing Director, Pew Health Group, The Pew Charitable Trusts

“Maryn McKenna tracks the harrowing biography of MRSA with all the skills of a first-rate investigative journalist. Superbug reads like a thriller and is presented in a nuanced and eloquent prose that is as infectious as the microbe it details.” – Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine, The University of Michigan; author of When Germs Travel

“Superbug is essential for anyone going to the hospital or working in healthcare. Too often even top doctors dismiss the threat, saying ‘the germs are everywhere.’ Patients and medical professionals should read this book and take its lessons seriously.”
Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., Founder, Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths


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