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4 Facts About The Pandemic Film “Contagion” In Relation To Coronavirus


Contagion | VOX

Viewers have been left divided after ITV2 aired the 2011 film “Contagion,” which is about a deadly virus sweeping across the globe.

The airing of the film is coming amid the current coronavirus crisis.


Contagion boasts of a stellar cast in the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Steven Soderbergh, Laurence Fishburne, Elliott Gould, John Hawkes and Bryan Cranston.

What is interesting about the almost decade-old film is that its storyline is a little too close to home, given the fact we are currently watching a pandemic play out around us.

Interestingly, the film has been credited for its scientific accuracy, it could also have been quite eye-opening, no?

Here are 4 facts to know about “Contagion.”

Global spread

Contagion’s MEV-1 virus spread through countries of the world in a matter of days just as coronavirus has quickly spread causing lockdown in many countries.

Contact spreading/Social distancing

Just like COVID-19 can be spread through contact, Contagion shows high accuracy with the spread of MEV-1, which was spread through contact. The importance of the need to stay at home and avoid unnecessary contact with other people in places where the virus is growing was depicted in Contagion.

Wash your hands

The film uses the term “fomite”, which refers to an item that can harbor the pathogens of a virus on its surface, allowing it to spread. Some of the film’s illustrations were accurate, including Paltrow’s character Beth using a credit card in a restaurant or touching other high-traffic objects after the virus was infectious. However, the items interacted with during the first hours of infection – like her ex-lover – were definitely for cinematic tension. It reinforces the importance of washing your hands to avoid getting infected.

Animal DNA

A study by the American Society for Microbiology in 2007 stated:


What does this have to do with Contagion? Well, the film’s MEV-1 virus is a strain containing pig and bat DNA that Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) contracts in Hong Kong.

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