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Researcher Who Served as Medical Consultant on the Film Contagion Tests Positive for COVID-19

Researcher Who Served as Medical Consultant on the Film Contagion Tests Positive for COVID-19

Ian Lipkin, director of Columbia University's Center for Infection and Immunity, was the chief scientific consult for Steven Soderbergh's Contagion, which focused on the spread of a global virus.

Steven Soderbergh's 2011 pandemic film Contagion found a renewed viewership after the coronavirus outbreak. And now, it has been revealed that a researcher who served as a medical consultant on the film has tested positive for COVID-19.

Ian Lipkin, while discussing the virus in an interview on Fox Business, said, "I would just like to say on this show tonight that this has become very personal for me too, because I have COVID as of yesterday. And this is miserable. [If] it can hit me, it can hit anybody," he said.

In January, Lipkin went to China to investigate coronavirus and self-quarantined for two weeks after returning home. However, he told Fox Business that while he had an inkling of where he contracted the virus, "it doesn't matter" where he got it as the disease has spread all over the United States.

Lipkin is the director of Columbia University's Center for Infection and Immunity, as well as a professor of epidemiology, neurology and pathology at the school. He was instrumental in identifying the West Nile virus as the cause of the encephalitis epidemic in New York in 1999 and he also assisted the World Health Organization in China during the SARS outbreak in 2003.

Lipkin was the chief scientific consult for Steven Soderbergh's Contagion, which focused on the spread of a global virus and how researchers and officials try to halt it. Starring Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, and Matt Damon, the film was noted for its scientific accuracy. In the movie, Elliott Gould played a research scientist named Ian, who was based on Lipkin.

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