Experts: "Fatal Contact" Exaggerates Worst Bird Flu Scenario - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/9/06-Tyler

Experts: "Fatal Contact" Exaggerates Worst Bird Flu Scenario

There are many scenarios from a possible outbreak of bird flu -- vaccine shortages, a run on stores, and crowded hospitals. In the movie Tuesday night on ABC, "Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America," viewers saw Hollywood's take on a disaster.

The makers of "Fatal Contact" admitted in a disclaimer tonight it is fiction -- a fictional examination of the question, "what if?" 

Fatal Contact's bird flu spreads like wildfire.

"It's going to behave like typical influenza. The incubation period will be a matter of days, not a matter of hours,"  says KLTV Med Team Doctor Ed Dominguez, an infectious disease specialist.

He says even a mutated form of bird flu, is still just flu, and for just about everyone, a cough won't turn fatal in just a few hours.

"People will not get it as rapidly as the fictionalized versions might depict, but there's no doubt we're going to have to be very cognizant of it," he says.

"I really don't think it'll be that bad," says Debbie Stauffer, who, along with Helene Hakim instruct students at UT Tyler's School of Nursing. They say recent depictions, and then this one, can put more fear in the hearts of Americans.

"I just don't see it to that point yet," Stauffer says.

Hakim notes,  "We have systems and programs in place to keep [a flu pandemic] from getting that extreme."

No one can discount the possibility of a pandemic, but the rush through supermarkets? Chaos, even riots at hospitals?

"Hollywood likes to create these worst-case scenarios because it suits their particular storytelling purposes," Dominguez believes.

He says since people won't be dying in hours of getting sick, treatment will be at the very least, more orderly -- not an out-of-control disaster like was seen Tuesday.

"We'll know when people have it, because we're looking for it," he says. 

Dominguez says bird flu, even if it mutates into the most contagious form, will be transmitted mainly by touching an infected person, or contacting a contaminated object. Airborne spread will only be possible in close contact. And the poultry industry continues to remind folks it can't be caught from eating chicken or other birds.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.  morganpalmer@kltv.com

 

  • NewsMore>>

  • Dakar Burkes Memorial Car Show held in Louisiana

    Dakar Burkes Memorial Car Show held in Louisiana

    Saturday, May 19 2018 10:01 PM EDT2018-05-20 02:01:04 GMT
    The roar of high power engines and vintage classic automobiles were on display in one East Texas city, in an annual tribute to a young man, who was a homicide victim, who loved cars. The 9th annual Dakar Burkes memorial car show was held in Lakeport. Racers came in from thunder road Louisiana, as well as collectors from all over the state, to be part of the memorial car show. "They called us, invited us to this event, the cars behind us they run at that track so we brought the...More >>
    The roar of high power engines and vintage classic automobiles were on display in one East Texas city, in an annual tribute to a young man, who was a homicide victim, who loved cars. The 9th annual Dakar Burkes memorial car show was held in Lakeport. Racers came in from thunder road Louisiana, as well as collectors from all over the state, to be part of the memorial car show. "They called us, invited us to this event, the cars behind us they run at that track so we brought the...More >>
  • One person confirmed dead after fatal wreck on Highway 11

    One person confirmed dead after fatal wreck on Highway 11

    Saturday, May 19 2018 9:10 PM EDT2018-05-20 01:10:03 GMT

    One person was killed in a fatal crash in Hopkins County Saturday morning.

    More >>

    One person was killed in a fatal crash in Hopkins County Saturday morning.

    More >>
  • No injuries in late night Smith County house fire

    No injuries in late night Smith County house fire

    Saturday, May 19 2018 6:59 PM EDT2018-05-19 22:59:31 GMT
    (Source: KLTV News Staff)(Source: KLTV News Staff)

    Several fire departments are on scene where a large fire is burning near the toll road.

    More >>

    Several fire departments are on scene where a large fire is burning near the toll road.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly