Omega

Omega

4.0 1
by Patrick Lynch
     
 
A virulent bacteria resistant to all known antibiotics is killing off patients in a Los Angeles hospital trauma unit. When a unit doctor’s teenage daughter is suddenly stricken with the infection, he finds himself racing against time to hunt down Omega—an antibiotic inaccessible to the public but rumored to fight the plague—and battle a health care system determined

Overview

A virulent bacteria resistant to all known antibiotics is killing off patients in a Los Angeles hospital trauma unit. When a unit doctor’s teenage daughter is suddenly stricken with the infection, he finds himself racing against time to hunt down Omega—an antibiotic inaccessible to the public but rumored to fight the plague—and battle a health care system determined to withhold the drug that could save countless lives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This imaginative and chillingly realistic thriller by the pseudonymous authors of Carriers may encourage an epidemic of hypochondria. Setting their tale in present-day L.A., Philip Sington and Gary Humphreys, writing together as Lynch, play brilliantly on fears stirred up by recent medical headlines about flesh-eating bacteria and the proliferation of other antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Describing the citywide spread of an inexorable infection, the authors detail the way staph flourishes inside a single body. Dr. Marcus Ford, a surgeon and head of the trauma unit at a large public hospital in South Central L. A., speaks out at a medical conference about the frightening spread of antibiotic resistance, fomented in part by greedy drug companies who encourage people to use their products recklessly. Even as he warns against a return to the dark days when simple infections could be fatal, a "super staph" explodes in his wards. Dr. Marshall West, head of the county's health services, and Helen Wray, an attractive drug company executive, express support for Ford's crusade. More promisingly, a mysterious scientist, Charles Novak, hints at the existence of a genetically engineered super-antibiotic called Omega. People begin dying of the staph infection in droves, and Ford's teenage daughter comes down with the tell-tale sore throat. Novak is murdered, and both Helen and Marshall West turn out to have secret agendas. As Ford races to get his hands on Omega, the writing occasionally is less than graceful, but the excitement rarely falters and the story hits the jugular nerve. Movie rights to Universal Studios; foreign rights sold in Italy, Germany, Denmark and Japan. (Sept.) FYI: Carriers is slated as a CBS-TV movie.
Library Journal
What if a string of drug-resistant antibodies were running loose in and around Los Angeles and jumping between different types of infection, and what if you were head of a trauma unit in a medical center watching your patients succumb to these infections, and what if your daughteryour one and only childbecame infected with this super bacteria and you learned that there just might be a cure with a powerful, new, genetically engineered antibiotic? In Lynch's newest work, Dr. Marcus Ford finds himself in that situation. As he tries to locate this elusive antibiotic, his search leads him to a couple of high-powered pharmaceutical companies. Meanwhile, he must continue to deal with his patients, his daughter's illness, and the media, which have portrayed him as some sort of monster. Just when he thinks things couldn't get worse, they do; he always seems to be one step behind the help he needs. Lynch (Carriers, Villard, 1995) has created another compelling medical thriller, this one based on the science found in books like Laurie Garrett's The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance (LJ 9/15/94?). Except for some long passages describing certain medical techniques and the frequency of long, hard-to-pronounce terms, this is a real page-turner that will appeal to a wide audience.Terry A. Christner, Hutchinson P.L., Kan.
Kirkus Reviews
Lynch brings the biomedical Armageddon of Carriers (1995) horrifyingly closer to home in this search for a magical antibiotic.

Something is wrong in Los Angeles's Willowbrook Medical Center—something that's making patients who've come in with routine problems (minor stab or gunshot wounds, food poisoning) develop grisly secondary infections whose toxic agents, resisting every known antibiotic, kill them in a matter of days. "Culture Vulture" Dr. Lucy Patou, the chief of Infection Control, certain that the problem is in the hospital's procedures, wants the staff to scrub longer, wear more layers of protective clothing, and submit to ever more invasive screenings. But Dr. Marcus Ford, director of the Trauma Unit, fears that the infection's coming from outside—that the Watts neighborhood is seething with antibiotic-proof infections that for some reason are blossoming in his clinic. A conversation at a conference where he's gone to rail against the opportunism of pharmaceutical companies who recklessly breed resistant infections by overpublicizing antibiotics and fighting their regulation puts Ford in touch with former Helical biochemist Charles Novak and Stern Corporation marketer Helen Wray, who sound sympathetic (in fact, Ford ends up in bed with Wray, she's so sympathetic). But before Ford can track down the all-powerful new antibiotic called Omega, which Helical developed before Stern bought them out, Ford's teenaged daughter comes down with a galloping infection that lands her in his own unit—except that it isn't his unit anymore, because Patou's got him suspended as a sop to the city's panic about Willowbrook's safety. As the Helical team and Stern bicker over Omega's fate, the death toll rises ominously, especially among Helical alumni. Tracking all-too-real current medical fears and policy disputes, Lynch turns them all into swift-moving heroics while avoiding spuriously simple real-world answers.

The only downside: a doomsday scenario that may strike too close for people with sore throats. Maybe this thriller should be available only by prescription.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9788408033851
Publisher:
Planeta Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
02/28/2000
Edition description:
Spanish-language Edition
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
60.00(w) x 90.00(h) x 1.25(d)

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Omega 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A truly good read. I couldnt put the book down I was hooked. Its frightening to think that this could possibly happen. Its the first book of Patrick Lynch I've read and cant wait to read Carriers.