“Contagion” Touches Real Fears – Are We Prepared for an Outbreak?

Warner Bros.’ latest thriller, “Contagion,” annihilated its competition at the box office to land solidly in the coveted number-one position. The film’s success can be partially attributed to its credibility – astonishingly enough, “Contagion” is only a slight stretch from possible events.

Director Steven Soderbergh paints a believable portrait of what havoc a highly contagious and lethal virus could spread, with an emphasis on the science and ensuing societal deterioration. The film’s made-up MEV-1 virus mirrors the Nipah virus from Malaysia that could leap from animals to humans. “Contagion” also took extreme efforts to portray the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with careful detail. Actress Kate Winslet actually sat down with a CDC investigator to learn the scientist’s mannerisms, physical appearance and language.