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Prophet “Contagion” reflects the current virus disaster

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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The current virus outbreak is slightly similar to the movie “Contagion” filmed in 2011. Lan Lipkin, the scientific advisor to the movie, believes that the coronavirus could've been circulating for months or even years."

Lan Lipkin, Epidemiologist Professor of Epidemiology of Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, said he was in China in this year second half of January and returned in early February with no illness, but Lipkin tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-March. “The first couple of days, you feel like an elephant is sitting on your chest” Lipkin said.

Lipkin said the virus probably circulated in humans for some time and he proposed a hypothesis that the virus leapt in its dangerous form from animal like bat to human late last year.

A recent study in Nature Medicine Magazine also said that the leap may have happened months or years ago and the virus has already adapted to be more infectious to human even it’s had less lethality.

Robert Garry, Professor at the Tulane University School of Medicine, also expressed the same though in his study that the virus could have been in humans for years.

“There could've been other sparks that were set off, smaller fires, and we just didn't detect it. It's a wide range of time that you can select. There's some coronaviruses that we know about, some of the milder ones, that circulated for decades before we actually first discovered the first one" said Garry.

"This is what viruses do. It probably had some adaptation to humans before it jumped into humans, but it probably then adapted further, improved its ability to infect and transmit between people, once it got into people" said Andrew Cunningham, a Veterinary epidemiologist at the Zoological Society of London.

For the ending of this large virus outbreak, Lipkin said we ultimately have to have a vaccine and this thing is going to be endemic in the human population.

One of the actors, Laurence Fishburne, who has ever gone through the virus outbreak in the movie “Contagion” said “The movie and reality will probably end the same way. Except in the movie the vaccine took days, not months.”

The movie "Contagion" is about the spread of viruses by contaminants. Medical researchers and public health officials try to identify and control a large epidemic similar to "SARS." The disease then was out of order and causes society losing public order. Finally, a vaccine is completed to prevent its spread.

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