Grant Felton
March 24, 2020 | 8:15 PM ET

Science fiction has officially crossed over into real life. The virus expert who consulted on the newly popular 2011 film Contagion, Dr. Ian Lipkin, has been infected with the very real coronavirus. 

The revelation came to light on Tuesday night when Lipkin was appearing on Fox Business News. During his interview, he coughed deeply just before revealing that he had contracted the virus and wasn’t feeling well.

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If you still haven’t seen Contagion, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, and Jude Law, you should give it a watch, immediately. The film is a fictional account of a virus that spreads from China, traveling through handshakes and coughs, and infecting and subsequently killing millions of people across the planet.

Soderberg’s film is often lauded for being so scientifically accurate in depicting how such an event might come to pass, and that’s due in part to the consultation work of Lipkin during its production.

Ironically, in the film, Winslet, a virologist committed to investigating the virus, eventually succumbs to the virus herself. The fact that Lipkin is now living out at least part of the plot of Contagion is possibly too odd to even fathom for most.

According to online documentation, Lipkin is 67 years old, which would put him in the high risk group for potentially serious complications from the coronavirus. Lipkin says he thinks he knows where he picked it up, but opted not to elaborate, instead saying, “If I can get it, anyone can get it.” 

Cover image a scene from ‘Contagion’ Warner Bros.