Netflix quietly released a new six-episode docuseries called “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” on Tuesday — right in time for the alarming spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
In “Pandemic,” viewers meet the “heroes on the front lines of the battle against influenza and learn about their efforts to stop the next global outbreak,” the series’ summary on Netflix reads.
“Pandemic” creates urgency for the need to prepare against epidemics by following several viruses and diseases around the globe and what’s being done to battle them — as scientists fight underfunding in research and health care, anti-vaxxers, misinformation and political red-tape, including unvaccinated migrants at the U.S. border.
Dr. Dennis Carroll, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Emerging Threats Unit director, says in the show that people should be most scared of influenza and respiratory viruses — claiming that alarmists are more concerned with Ebola, which only effected 50,000 people, than the bird flu or H1N1 “swine” flu, which has affected almost 2 billion people.
Dr. Syra Madad, the senior director of New York City Health & Hospitals’ Special Pathogens Program, which helps develop public health strategy to ready the Big Apple for major diseases, also makes appearances in the show.
In the show, Madad describes the extreme ease a respiratory virus could spread in New York via air travel.
“Influenza is very hard to predict. It takes one person — one host — to lead to a pandemic,” Madad said.
The episode titles serve almost as a guide for panicked viewers, telling those watching that “Pandemic Is Now,” “Seek Don’t Hide,” “Prayers Might Work” and “Don’t Stop Now.”
The show is produced by Zero Point Zero Productions, best known for making various docuseries for Anthony Bourdain and other Netflix hit docuseries “Broken” and “Rotten.”