Medical Consultant for Pandemic Thriller ‘Contagion’ Tests Positive for Coronavirus

“If it can hit me, it can hit anybody,” Dr. Ian Lipkin told Fox Business

The physician that served as the medical consultant for the 2011 pandemic thriller “Contagion,” Dr. Ian Lipkin, revealed in an interview on Fox Business Network that he has tested positive for the coronavirus

Lipkin, the director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity, worked closely with director Steven Soderbergh, writer Scott Z. Burns and the film’s cast to ensure the scientific accuracy of the movie, which follows families, health professionals and members of the media as a new virus spreads across the world and a vaccine to stop the pandemic is sought. The film has gained renewed interest as COVID-19 has spread around the world, particularly since both the disease in the film and coronavirus are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans.

In an interview on Fox Business’ “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Lipkin spoke with guest host David Asmanfor about his own diagnosis. He said he tested positive for coronavirus on Monday and that the experience has been “miserable.” Over 53,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in the United States with over 417,000 worldwide. As of midday Tuesday, the death surpassed 550 in the U.S. and 18,600 worldwide.

“If it can hit me, it can hit anybody,” Lipkin warned. “I know where I think I got it but that’s not the same as proving. But it doesn’t matter. This virus can be found all over the United States.”

Lipkin also spoke about tests being conducted at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins and several other research facilities with blood plasma drawn from patients who recovered from the virus. He hopes that the tests will help reveal new methods of treatment that “can prevent infection or progression of infection,” though he warns that like all medical tests it will take some time before results are guaranteed.

“This is something we’ve only begun to explore and we don’t know the optimal dose,” he said.

“Contagion” is currently available to stream on Netflix. Watch Dr. Ian Lipkin’s interview on Fox Business in the clip above.