Monday, September 12, 2011

The `Contagion’ Conversation Continues


# 5834




Over the weekend I posted my review of Steven Soderbergh’s pandemic thriller `Contagion’, while last Thursday I posted on the scientific plausibility of a Nipah-like virus sparking a pandemic.


UPDATE:  Fellow flu blogger and good buddy Scott McPherson has posted his review of this movie in  “Contagion” is a Deeply Unsettling, Haunting – and (Mostly) Realistic – Pandemic Film .


The movie has sparked a good deal of conversation – both online and in the mainstream media – on the potential of someday seeing a virulent pandemic like the one in the movie.

A few examples for you to check out.


First from Robert Roos at CIDRAP, we get an overview of the pandemic scenario, with comments by Dr. Ruth Lynfield, state epidemiologist in Minnesota, Dr. Michael Osterholm director of CIDRAP, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


'Contagion' portrays extreme but not impossible scenario


Next stop, Johns Hopkin’s University Gazette.


Contagion’: Wake-up call for public health systems

New movie is reminder that we must be prepared for lethal disease outbreak

By Mark Guidera,

Infectious disease and disaster preparedness experts at Johns Hopkins say that the premise of the just-released Hollywood movie Contagion, in which a lethal airborne virus spreads quickly around the globe, is realistic and should serve as a reminder that the United States has much work to do to prepare for a serious national emergency posed by a deadly virus that spreads quickly.

(Continue . . . )


From The Atlantic, two opinion pieces. 


First, one from Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, Director of the CDC.


CDC Director on 'Contagion': Deadly Viruses Could Spread Fast

By Thomas R. Frieden

Sep 10 2011, 8:01 AM ET 11

This is a movie, not a documentary, but you could see it play out in real life: The CDC identifies a new infectious disease every year



Next a piece by Dr. Larry Madoff – Editor of ProMed Mail – and director of the Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).


An Epidemiologist on 'Contagion': This Will Almost Certainly Occur

By Larry Madoff

Despite some disappointments, Contagion hits much more than it misses. The science is uncannily true, with rare exceptions



And finally, a CBS Morning Show feature on the movie, with an interview with CDC director Thomas R. Frieden who calls an outbreak such as the one depicted in the movie as `quite plausible’.


(Dbl Click to view on YouTube)


Frankly, the only thing implausible about the scenario depicted in the movie Contagion was the development, production, and the start of vaccine distribution in under 4 months time.


Someday, perhaps.  But not today.

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