How does ‘Contagion’ play for O.C. experts?

September 30, 2011
Dr. Kristi Koenig

IN THE NEWS:  The Orange County Register reports that a group of infectious disease and emergency specialists from UC Irvine and the Orange County Health Care Agency attended a special screening of the film Contagion on Friday then held a panel discussion afterward.

The verdict: It’s accurate.

“I thought one of the lines in the movie was very telling, where the CDC expert said, ‘We don’t need to have terrorists manufacture this virus. Basically, nature is doing it for us,’ ” said Dr. Kristi Koenig, director of UC Irvine’s Center for Disaster Medical Sciences.

According to the Register, a big theme in the film is human behavior, and how panic or the spread of bad information – say, false blog posts about a cure – could make a major outbreak even worse.

“We need to really plan for what people will do, not for what we want them to do,” Koenig said. “If we get the wrong information out to the public through the social media, as was illustrated in the movie, that could be extremely problematic.”

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