Watching the Detectives

Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service by Mark Pendergrast The Epidemic Intelligence Service is a rarely-heard-of division of the Centers for Disease Control, and the medical equivalent of the CIA. How cool is that?! These folks, epidemiologists by trade, try to study and prevent virtually every threat to public health that's around--and they've been at it since 1951. They've dealt with smallpox and Ebola, found that people can get rabies from bats without being bitten, started the first surveillance system for birth defects and helped identify folic acid as a preventative for spina bifida. They've investigated mass hysteria in schools, sick-building syndrome, proved that aspirin can cause Reye's syndrome, that toxic shock syndrome was caused by super-absorbent tampons, and that Lyme disease came from ticks. They've investigated lead poisoning, multiple-drug-resistant tuberculosis, parasites, pesticides, and cholera. But they also study things like cancer clusters, obesity, heat waves, binge drinking, violence and suicide.This book is graphic--not for the squeamish. But for those among us who love this kinda thing, it is just the ticket. Plus that cover illustration is the shiz.