Contagion Medical Consultant Tests Positive for Coronavirus: 'It Can Hit Anybody'

Ian Lipkin served as medical consultant

Ian Lipkin served as medical consultant

Watch Dr. Ian Lipkin's interview on Fox Business in the clip above.

Lipkin teaches epidemiology, neurology, and pathology at Columbia University.

Almost a decade ago, he was enlisted by director Steven Soderbergh to ensure the scientific accuracy of Contagion, which deals with the outbreak of a deadly virus and the toll it takes on the world.

Famous American doctor Ian Lipkin was the consultant for "Contagion" and he agreed to it after much persuasion that the film would be accurate scientifically and would educate as much as entertain. Lipkin said the symptoms were miserable and stressed that "if it can hit me, it can hit anybody".

Interest in the Matt Damon-starring film was reignited earlier this year as the panic and threat surrounding COVID-19 was similar to that in the fictional plot.

First Orange County inmate tests positive for coronavirus
If an outbreak were to occur in a prison, it's likely it would also impact the wider community. There are close to 18,000 prisoners in custody in the state.

Dr. Lipkin had been in Beijing during the 2003 SAARS outbreak consulting for the World Health Organization and the Chinese Health Ministry and contracted the disease then too and went into isolation after returning to the US.

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. "Unless we're consistent, we're not going to get ahead of this thing", he said. "It's extraordinarily important that we harmonize whatever restrictions we have across the country because we have porous borders between states, between cities". While the interview was initially focused on potential cures for the coronavirus, such as blood plasma therapy, Lipkin noted that social distancing was still the most effective method of halting the virus' spread, noting that the "very best tool we have is isolation and confinement".

Among other things, Lipkin talked about potential treatments that are now being explored for the virus.

Health officials caution against all global travel.

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