Smallpox Outbreak on TV Show
This year, CBS developed a new scientific drama, Eleventh Hour. The show is about a biophysicist who investigates scientific crises and oddities. In a recent episode of the show, titled "Containment," Dr. Jacob Hood (Rufus Sewell) investigates a smallpox outbreak at a demolition site.
Dr. Hood finds construction workers who are being isolated with a respiratory infection, fever, fatigue and rash. He eventually figures out it is the smallpox virus that started after variola major samples that were supposed to be used for vaccine research were opened.
A recent Los Angeles Times article examined the episode for accuracy. The article stated the clinical symptoms were not entirely accurate -- respiratory symptoms are not prominent in patients presenting with smallpox. Additionally, casual contact does not usually cause an infection, and the show also exaggerated how fast smallpox spreads. However, the show was accurate in its display of the shape of the virus.