I want to, but I still haven’t seen the movie Contagion, starring Matt Damon among others. I’ve read a lot about the film, however, and appreciate the extent to which the film’s writers consulted with public health practitioners to get the details right. The result, as I understand it, is a fairly accurate portrayal of what would happen in the event of a sudden global outbreak of a new disease. Many of my colleagues are praising the film. However, I’ve read comments from some of my contacts on Facebook about how terribly unrealistic the movie was. Keep in mind, the ones doing the criticizing are not public health folks.
Movie aside, however, the threat of a new pandemic is simply a mater of time. In fact, the world is currently awash in antibiotic resistant microbes ominously nicknamed “superbugs.” Catch one of these, and there’s precious little that can be done for you, and a very real chance that you won’t survive. How real is the threat? Well, let’s just say it’s not trivial. In fact, there’s a new website, the Resistance Map, created by the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy. It’s loaded with information that will enlighten and terrify you. Take a look at their various maps and charts, and then go wash your hands.