The Washington Post

Sick World

"OK, everyone. We know it's NOT either of these things."

In “Contagion,” opening Friday, attractive doctors (Kate Winslet among them) fight a fictitious pandemic. Here are more cinematic bugs you can’t catch (probably).

Rage (Human Cortico-Deficiency Virus)
The malady that wipes out Britain in “28 Days Later” (2002) produces extreme aggression after an incubation period of a few seconds. It does NOT create zombies. Sufferers are not living dead and don’t eat human flesh.

Chrono-Displacement Disorder
The husband in “The Time Traveler’s Wife” (2009) has a genetic mutation that causes involuntary time-jumping. His daughter has CDD, too, so it’s likely her kids will have a 50-50 chance of inheriting the faulty gene.

Goldfield Syndrome
Lucy, the love interest in “50 First Dates” (2004), wakes up each morning with no memory of the day prior. If real, this would be a form of anterograde amnesia, which inhibits one’s ability to learn new information.

Andromeda infection
The titular microorganism of “The Andromeda Strain” (1971) comes from space and kills by rapidly clotting blood. Later, it mutates to make the infected act crazypants before dying.

The baddie of “Outbreak” (1995) is basically Ebola. Both are viral hemorrhagic fevers (meaning lots of blood from lots of orifices) and zoonotic (can hop from an animal to a human).

Holly J. Morris is Express' managing editor for features.



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Kristen Page-Kirby · September 7, 2011