A Virus Movie Determined to Get Real

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/mo...gion.html?_r=1

    I just love a good end of the world Sci Fi flick! They went to great lengths to get the science right in this one, and the cast is looking good too. Due out very soon, and I am ready to be entertained!

    Quote from www.nytimes.com
    ...an ultrarealistic film about a pandemic, and that's the key phrase," the film's director, Steven Soderbergh, said. "We were looking for something that was unsettling because of the banality of the transmission. In a weird way, the less you trump it up, the more unsettling it becomes."

    ..."Contagion" reflects the dizzying potential speed and reach of outbreaks in an increasingly globalized world. Shot on three continents, the film plots the vectors of transmission from Macau to Tokyo and Chicago and beyond, while also depicting the containment and investigative efforts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and the World Health Organization in Geneva.

    Drawing on the advice of consultants and experts who have studied recent outbreaks, "Contagion" shows that the science of viruses-the process of identifying them and of developing vaccines-continues to evolve, and that both pandemics and the responses to them take on new dimensions in a new information age. A central theme of the movie is that information acts much like a virus. Wary of mass panic, officials wrestle with the appropriate responses, and one of the characters is a scaremongering blogger, played by Mr. Law.

    What a hoot!

    Quote from www.scottmcpherson.net
    ...listen to A-list actors deliver such lines as "social distancing" and "Congress is figuring out how to work online."
    Last edit by indigo girl on Sep 4, '11
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    About indigo girl

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 5,910; Likes: 1,744
    visiting nurse; from US
    Specialty: Too many to list


  3. by   Lucky0220
    From the little that I read about this movie, it sounds like a similar movie made quite a few years ago called Outbreak, starring Dustin Hoffman.

    Is there anything new and different in this new movie, I wonder?
  4. by   indigo girl
    Expert advice, the recent pandemic flu and other recent infecious disease occurrences, years of preparation and guidance by CDC and WHO, the ongoing research - all of it should make for a more realistic, fact based movie although it will be about a fictionalized version of an influenza virus.

    Of course, I admit to being a fan of this type of movie, and am more than a little interested in infectious disease information so don't go by me! I want to see how they do this, and hope not to be disappointed. I really want them to get it right because a truly lethal fast spreading virus is always an alarming but very possible scenario (think of SARS, and Ebola). Influenza is always going to be with us, and it is a wily adversary worthy of concern. There is so much we don't know yet, and human behavior predicts that we help the spread of these viruses without even knowing it.

    The control of information that is talked about in the movie is also very real. Witness what happened in China when SARS was spreading uncontrolled and the Chinese authorities deliberately kept this knowledge from us. Having accurate information saves lives which is why what CDC and WHO did during the last pandemic was watched and commented on by many. Not everything that was given out as fact was proven to be true, and what they did not say was just as important as what they did. I expect recent events will be reflected in the movie.

    I would also expect that the film will be more than just entertainment. I would hope that it would also educate about what has happened before and could happen again. I think that there should always be some level of concern about influenza, and that we need to be more aware of the ongoing history of influenza outbreaks, and who is at risk.

    Pandemic News/Awareness - Thread 2
  5. by   indigo girl
    Good flilm, but it's not influenza. It's the Nipah virus instead. Looks like they got most of the science right although the down time to manufacture of a vaccine was way faster than we could ever expect in the real world.
  6. by   indigo girl

    The issue of funding for doing what needs to be done in the face of this kind of situation is what is hoped people will get from this film.

    Quote from blogs.wsj.com/health
    Public-health advocates are hoping the movie will draw new attention - and dollars-to preparation and response to pandemics or other public health disasters. The CDC's budget for preparedness and response has fallen more than $350 million since 2005 to about $832 million in fiscal 2011, challenging the CDC's ability to respond to a pandemic as it did in the film, Khan said.

    One thing that didn't ring true: Winslet's character, Dr. Erin Mears, was dispatched alone to investigate the outbreak. The CDC normally sends entire teams. "We wouldn't send Kate Winslet all by herself to solve the outbreak," Khan said.

    Then he laughed. If the CDC's budget is cut further, he said, "we might not be able to afford to send anyone else."
  7. by   indigo girl

    Quote from healthworkscollective.com
    ... there are good scientific and security reasons to fear novel viruses like H5N1 and an uncoordinated, fragmented and ineffectual response. A 2010 study examining the initial response of health care institutions found that over half of hospitals included in the study neglected important infection prevention measures during the crisis. The New England Journal of Medicine cites that one month following the release of the H1N1 vaccine only 7 percent of high-priority adults had been vaccinated. According to the same study, nine months following the pandemic, 39 percent of survey respondents said the government response was fair or poor— with 54 percent of respondents stating that the federal government was doing a poor or very poor job of providing the country with adequate vaccine supplies.

    ...the U.S. apparatus to respond to a public health emergency of international concern is fragmented, split among many agencies and lacking key capacities. The document offers guidance on how the US can best implement revised international health regulations in key areas including human resources, surveillance, laboratory strengthening, and outbreak response. It also defines areas where the US could scale up its core capacities efficiently and effectively. But all this may not be as simple as it seems. For example, the goal of maintaining one trained field epidemiologist for every 200,000 people is vastly complicated by the fact that this responsibility is spread across the Field Epidemiology Training Program (CDC), the Biosecurity Engagement Program (DOS), Global Disease Detection Program (CDC), Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (DOD), Emerging Pandemic Threats Program (USAID), and the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (DOD). No wonder the response to H1N1 was fragmented.

    The fact that the USG is working to scale up and better coordinate their response to global public health emergencies is great news. But guess what? They can’t do it with less funding. The already extremely cheap CDC program to investigate and track novel disease outbreaks ($37.8 million in 2010) has been cut by almost 10 million in the Administration’s pre-debt crisis 2012 budget proposal. Currently just one million is budgeted for the program’s Operations Center which sends deployments to investigate novel diseases—the kind that translate so well to the silver screen. Maybe what is actually frightening is that the money we spend on investigating these new diseases is less than two percent of the 60 million dollar production costs of the Hollywood blockbuster . Who knows what will happen now?

  8. by   indigo girl
    "Contagion" is a Deeply Unsettling, Haunting - and (Mostly) Realistic - Pandemic Film

    This movie touches on some very real social issues regarding viral samples, and the vaccines made from them.


    Quote from www.scottmcpherson.net
    The vaccine issue is personalized within the village, but once again, the script alludes to larger global issues. In this case, the rural, poor demand for vaccine speaks to the problems caused by Indonesia in the fight against bird flu. Back in 2007, the Indonesian government refused to share human bird flu samples - or even to quickly report human bird flu cases and deaths - simply because they felt their samples would make the global pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars, and, at the end of the day, leave Indonesia without any vaccine. It took years for the West to negotiate an agreement with Indonesia to give them vaccine in exchange for human bird flu samples.

    The movie did do a good job of showing the agony involved with waiting and waiting until their vaccine lottery number was called. I found the prospect of a "vaccine lottery" to be a curious and interesting (and fair) way to resolve the issue of who got vaccine and when. The reality is, there is a schedule of who gets vaccine, at least within the first responder community, the military and the government. The Strategic National Stockpile has the goods. The Department of Homeland Security and state governments have the plans. After that, I doubt if there is a plan, so the lottery idea seems as fair as any.

    Finally, we need to address the issue of the blogger character played by Jude Law. "Blogging is graffiti with punctuation," Elliott Gould admonishes Law's character. Law's Alan Krumwiede is the worst sort of blogger, one who is only interested in promoting his "brand" at the expense of the truth, not to mention people's very lives, by promoting an unproven homeopathic "remedy." He is the 21st Century snake oil salesman, shamelessly hawking an elixir that is eventually proven to be dangerously ineffective.

  9. by   Aggie RN
    I rented this movie on iTunes about a week ago and finally worked up the nerve to watch it.

    Truly fascinating and utterly frightening film. My wife kept asking why I was watching the film, but she couldn't stop watching either

    I wished the would have addressed the triaging of patients more and limited health resources (liked the mention of the nurses strike) but that probably would only be interesting to geeks like us reading a pandemic flu forum.

    The one problem I have with the film is that the lights stayed on. If they mention first responders high absenteeism, show
    trash piling up in the streets, and mention transportation shut downs why would you still have power? Did I miss some part of the film? You would think power plants would either not get needed fuel or not have workers around to operate.

    Nonetheless, great film and I recommend it as required viewing for any health professional. That and read "The Great Influenza" by John Barry
  10. by   pinkfluffybunny
    The science nerd in my loved this movie. I am one of those crazy people that have a food pantry for emergency food and water. Each week when me and my daughter go to the grocery store I pick up a few things like beans, rice, canned food. I have a small cache of OTC medical supplies. Nothing extreme just first aid. I am hoping that I never need the things but just in case.
  11. by   Laidback Al
    Quote from pinkfluffybunny
    . . . I am one of those crazy people that have a food pantry for emergency food and water. Each week when me and my daughter go to the grocery store I pick up a few things like beans, rice, canned food. I have a small cache of OTC medical supplies. Nothing extreme just first aid. I am hoping that I never need the things but just in case.
    Being prepared for an emergency is not crazy, it is just good sense. Prepping for a disaster is not a one-time event of stocking up. It needs to be an ingrained part of your lifestyle.

    Make sure that you continually rotate you stores. Then you will never have to worry about them expiring. Also, make sure that your preps include the things that you and your family eat and enjoy.

    After all, when you are sitting in the dark and cold why not have some confort food and beverages that you enjoy.
  12. by   pinkfluffybunny
    I rotate the food stuff out. I have things like canned fruit, in the sweet syrup. I need to start working on some of the other basic survival gear.