People Are Watching 2011's Contagion in Huge Numbers as Coronavirus Spreads
One thing the coronavirus has been good for? The 2011 movie Contagion.
As officials in China confirm more than 6,000 cases of the respiratory illness and 132 deaths (with five confirmed cases of the disease in the United States), the movie about a viral outbreak that wipes out the population has shot up the iTunes chart, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Director Steven Soderbergh’s thriller even broke into the top 10 of the rental chart on Tuesday, dropping back down to number 14 on Thursday.
Contagion might be spurring more views since it feels eerily similar to the current outbreak. In the film, the mysterious virus originates in Hong Kong before travelers coming back to America bring it with them and infect the population.
The outbreak in the movie starts with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Beth, who brings the illness home after a business trip in the Asian country and is dead within 24 hours. Contagion goes on to dramatize an outbreak, with the death toll eventually hitting 2.5 million in the U.S. and 26 million worldwide.
But a repeat of the movie isn’t likely to happen, as the Center for Disease Control says that the risk for Americans is “low.”
According to the World Health Organization on Wednesday, there have been 6,065 confirmed cases of people with coronavirus, with 132 deaths.
Outside of China, there have been 68 confirmed cases so far across 15 countries, WHO reported.
Coronavirus is actually a blanket term for several respiratory illnesses, ranging from the common cold to more severe viruses such as SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. The symptoms typically include trouble breathing, fever, coughing, headache and a sore throat.
The first U.S. case of the coronavirus was reported earlier this month. The 30-something man had recently traveled to Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started, and returned to the U.S. on Jan. 15.