Disaster Zone

CDC and the Movie Contagion--Pandemic Flu

This is a "wash your hands" and "don't touch your face" movie if there ever was one.

by Eric Holdeman / September 10, 2011

I went to see the newly released Contagion Movie last night.  Knowing the premise of the movie, within two minutes of the start, I wanted to get up and go wash my hands, find one of those sanitizer cloths to clean the armrests and put a mask on my wife.


If you think this is some wild eyed scifi flick with little basis of reality, this is what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has said about the movie:

"On September 9, Warner Brothers will be releasing the movie Contagion, a
fictional drama that portrays CDC and other U.S. and international
partners responding to an emerging infectious disease outbreak. We are
reaching out to you in an effort to take advantage of this opportunity
to provide accurate and potentially life-saving information to the
public about how to prepare for a public health emergency.

When asked to respond to the inevitable question about the plot of the
movie, "Could this really happen?" CDC is compelled to say,
"Not only could it happen, CDC scientists are working 24/7 to find
out if it's happening right now."


Is it going to get any academy awards?  No.  My wife found it to be "slow" since it had more the feel of a docudrama than the typical action movie like Transformers Dark of the Moon that we have become accustomed to viewing.  Truth be told, my wife has not seen any of the Transformer movies.  I could not argue with any of the facts of the movie and how it played out.  Pretty accurate in my book.


I think a very large segment of the population believes that we are done with the flu pandemic and safe for a couple of more decades.  I would beg to differ.  Given the global nature of our business and travel,  the ability for a virus to spread very quickly throughout the world is at its peak.  We are now mixing people, food, cultures at a rate never seen before.  The ability to form a new virus like SARS and have it spread is the worry of every public health organization. 


My favorite quote from the movie is a guy slamming bloggers by saying, "Blogging is graffiti with punctuation."  I'll have to take that as a compliment.  The blogger in the movie was a slime ball.


Bill Cumming provided us with the CDC quote above.