Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: Rising Plague

By Sandy Amazeen Sep 14, 2009, 6:44 GMT

Book Review: Rising Plague

Antibiotic-resistant microbes infect more than 2 million Americans and kill over 100,000 each year. They spread rapidly, even in such seemingly harmless places as high school locker rooms, where they infect young athletes. And throughout the world, many more people are dying from these infections. Astoundingly, at the same time that antibiotic resistant infections are skyrocketing in incidence creating a critical need for new antibiotics research and development of new ...more

Meant as a serious wakeup call to professionals and laypersons alike, this is a well researched yet approachable examination of a frightening future as the adaptability of bacteria threatens to overtake humanity’s ability to create effective antibiotics. As drug companies continue to focus on the more lucrative markets of erectile dysfunction or overactive bladders, the number of new antibiotics under development has dwindled to a pitiful few. This, at a time when numerous strains of bacteria have developed alarming resistance to every antibiotic currently available and kill over 100,000 Americans annually.

Spellberg puts a human face on this rising epidemic with heart wrenching personal stories of healthy people suddenly thrust into battle with a tiny but deadly advisory, frequently with tragic results. The reasons behind this frightening lack of new tools in the physician’s arsenal are examined but basically, it all boils down to a matter of money. Thus, the importance of everyone becoming aware of this serious problem and what can be done to reverse current trends before the medical community is forced back to the dark ages when TB treatment involved deflating lungs.

Accessible and informative, this takes an unflinching look at the future of medicine as it and all humanity face the serous challenge poised by bacteria. Spellberg not only alerts the public to the coming crisis but more importantly, provides steps we all can take to ensure policy makers begin addressing the problem. This is a must read for everyone with an interest in health policies and issues that could potentially effect us all.



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