Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America

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Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America
Written by Richard McGee[1]
Directed by Richard Pearce
Starring Joely Richardson
Stacy Keach
Scott Cohen
Ann Cusack
Justina Machado
David Ramsey
Theme music composer Mark Adler
Country of origin United States
New Zealand
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Dennis A. Brown
Cinematography Ivan Strasburg
Running time 83 mins
Production company(s) ABC
Original release 9 May 2006

Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America is an ABC two-hour TV movie which first aired May 9, 2006[2] in which an American businessman visiting China is infected and carries the deadly mutated bird flu virus back via jetliner to the USA, soon it spreads throughout the country then the rest of the world. Before the movie ends, riots erupt, armed mobs try to hijack vaccines and authorities predict that up to 350 million people will die worldwide."[3]

Plot summary[edit]

A mutated bird flu virus spreads across the world. As panic spreads, the governor of Virginia quarantines neighborhoods where cases have cropped up, and federal officials confess they have no vaccine and scant supplies of antiviral drugs. Major socioeconomic disruption sets in, with shortages of food and medical supplies, power outages, and riots in the streets of New York.

A second civil war even erupts in the United States. Eventually, the pandemic begins to subside. But in the final scene, the discovery that an entire Angolan village was wiped out by a new mutation of the virus and a second wave of cases will begin causes further panic.[4]



The editorial staff at CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy) at the University of Minnesota write: "The creators of the fictional ABC-TV movie Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America blended medical facts from the 1918 influenza pandemic with current predictions from flu experts to portray a contemporary flu pandemic, but they added a liberal dash of sensationalism. The disease shown in the film, aired May 9, bore a strong resemblance to the illness that killed an estimated 675,000 Americans in 1918 and 1919. And a good many of the issues raised came straight out of the US government's pandemic preparedness plans and recent news stories about possible pandemic scenarios. But some scenes and details went well beyond what happened in 1918 or what is plausible today. And along the way, important medical details were left out."[4]

Sources and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Yahoo TV (Link dead as of 14 January 2007)
  2. ^ ABC News article published May 7, 2006.
  3. ^ Yahoo News article Bird flu plans; will it provoke action? published May 7, 2006. (Link dead as of 14 January 2007)
  4. ^ a b CIDRAP

External links[edit]