Yes, it could happen. But it's a stretch.
"Contagion," a Hollywood thriller that opened last weekend, rocketed to No. 1 at the box office through its gripping tale of a fictional global epidemic driven by a new virus. Audiences have gasped in horror at what happens to Gwyneth Paltrow.
Before it was out, the movie made real-life disease investigators anxious, too, though for a different reason: They had worried the filmmakers would take so many artistic liberties with the science that the result would be an incredible movie that was ... not credible.
But Dr. Thomas Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the film is very plausible.
The team behind it used several expert consultants and went to other lengths to get scientific details correct.