Movie made: 1995 | Set in: 1990s

Summary Table

Event Likelihood Time frame
Outbreak of deadly, highly contagious disease high any time

Approach to the future

Scenario exploration


Futurism: 5

Entertainment: 8
Tautly constructed and involving

Plausibility: 8
The only faltering is the bomb-the-town solution, which seems both extreme and ineffective.

Interesting depictions

Disease outbreak:
Diseases kill millions every year, and it is probably just a matter of time before another easily spread killer strain appears. In 1918-1919, a flu epidemic killed some 20 million people in six months, including half a million in the United States.

Improved public health will help in a future outbreak, but there is nothing to stop one from occurring. Indeed, an ever more crowded globe increases the chances of diseases jumping from animal hosts to people, as AIDS is believed to have done.

Outbreak captures some of the terror that might result—though it could be much worse. Society would come to a standstill if the disease were widespread, and going to work, school, or the store could expose you to it. Return to top.

A final note: diseases can be modified to be more contagious and deadly. The former Soviet Union genetically engineered anthrax, plague, and other diseases. This capability will spread, and could be used in war or terrorism.

Other technologies/topics depicted


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The futures depicted in the movies