Contagion Realistic in Portraying Viral Threat, Says Will Humble, AZ Health Services Director

Will Humble, the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, says the movie Contagion is so realistic, something like it has already happened.

In a review of the latest virus-scare offering by Hollywood on his official blog, Humble writes that although he found some of the public policy decisions by his fictional counterparts "over the top," the movie does a good job in portraying the science of epidemiology and how public institutions work to halt the spread of disease.

Humble doesn't usually write reviews, but he knows a thing or two about the subject. He's been to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention facilities featured in the movie and was working for DHS when the SARS epidemic arose back in 2002.

That disease was similar to the one depicted in the movie, and had a terrifying 10 percent case-fatality rate, says Humble.

We're not sure if we totally buy his optimistic opinion that:

"The good news is that you should still be able to sleep after you watch the film because you're aware that a global, national, state and local public health system is in place that's designed to quickly identify emerging infectious diseases."

In other words, don't worry -- the government's here to help.

Click here to read Humble's post.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.