“When we talk about another flu pandemic happening,” Dr. Dennis Carroll, director of USAID’s Emerging Threats Unit, says in the first trailer for Netflix’s upcoming docuseries Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, “it’s not a matter of if, but when.”
On Wednesday, Netflix unveiled the first trailer for its frighteningly relevant new six-episode docuseries. Pandemic traverses the globe to explore the prospective sources that could cause the next devastating flu epidemic, the worldwide healthcare preparations (or lack thereof) in place to combat it, and the cutting-edge medical researchers that are racing to prevent it.
It has been 100 years since a deadly influenza virus killed 50 to 100 million people at a time when the global population was just 2 billion. Now that humanity’s numbers have ballooned to nearly 8 billion, medical researchers believe another epidemic is inevitable. The problem: we’re not ready for it.
Large-scale outbreaks could spread across the United States within one month and then across the globe in another four weeks. Pandemic explores how the healthcare communities in both urban and rural areas in countries such as America and India are ill-prepared for such an event. Compounding the growing concern is the rise in anti-vaccine positioning from parents, which puts a greater number of children at risk and increases the odds of widespread contraction.
Pandemic‘s first trailer arrives just as the world is battling coronaviruses, which has already begun to elicit quarantines and travel bans in cities across China and which has already affected one confirmed patient in the United States. Some 25 million have already been quarantined, The Washington Post reports, as New Year celebrations are cancelled amid the outbreak.
The trailer also drops us in San Francisco where Jake Glanville and Sarah Ives are researching a universal flu vaccine. However, their company is self-funded and the R&D needed to advance this effort requires millions of dollars. Their focus now is attracting benefactors such as Bill Gates to contribute funding. It’s an uphill battle, especially when juxtaposed to the looming threat of rapidly changing flu viruses.
Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak is produced by Zero Point Zero Productions, the same outfit behind Anthony Bourdain’s collection of docuseries and Netflix’s docs such as Rotten and Broken. It will be released on Netflix later this year.