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How Much 'Real-World' Science is in the Movie 'Contagion'?

“Superbug” author Maryn McKenna to lead a panel on threat of communicable diseases

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October 17, 2011 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- How much real-world science is in “Contagion,” the popular movie about a pandemic that kills millions of people in a matter of months? Maryn McKenna --author of “Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA” and an “embedded” writer with the Center for Disease Control during the anthrax attacks on Congress -- will touch on this and other questions at Northwestern University Sunday, Oct. 23.

McKenna will lead a discussion on the threats of communicable disease outbreaks with a panel of health experts, including City of Evanston Health Department communicable disease surveillance specialist Margaret Mathias Keeler. “From Hollywood to Public Health Policy” will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Room L07 of Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan Road, on the Evanston campus. It is free and open to the public.

McKenna, a Medill graduate, also is the author of “Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service.” The first history of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, the book was named one of the best science books of 2004.

Hosted by the Environmental Policy and Culture Program in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Evanston Health Department, the event is co-sponsored by the University’s Global Health and International Studies programs.

For more information, call (847) 491-7980 or visit the Program in Environmental Policy and Culture website at http://www.wcas.northwestern.edu/epc/.