Pandemics Film 'Unseen Enemy' Debuts April 7

"The public plays an essential role in the fight to contain and eradicate diseases like Ebola, Zika, and influenza," said CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. "The situation is urgent, but information can help make us less vulnerable."

A film about the public health risks of disease pandemics makes its debut April 7. Titled "Unseen Enemy," it is a CNN Films creation being broadcast for World Health Day and is exclusively presented by Johnson & Johnson. According to CNN Films, all of its broadcasts will have limited commercial interruptions.

The film is written and directed by Janet Tobias, with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta being an executive producer and consultant for the film. Paul G. Allen is another executive producer.

The focus is on disease investigators and outbreaks of viruses such as Zika, Ebola, and influenza. "From inside the hot zones in Brazil and Liberia, the film includes doctors who detail their heroic and often hazardous work from the front lines of the outbreak response. Doctors and researchers describe how they encountered the diseases, and how they are fighting the pathogens to save patients," according to CNN Films' release about it. "While the headlines of deadly outbreaks are alarming, Tobias' film makes the case that successful containment can be achieved with coordinated efforts of medical professionals, researchers, governments, communicators, and the public. Two historic examples support her case. World-renowned epidemiologist Dr. Larry Brilliant, guides viewers through his difficult decisions as he worked on the teams that forcibly vaccinated the last remote villagers against smallpox. Others describe how the global spread of HIV/AIDS could have been stopped if governments and public health bodies had acted more deliberately to warn the public. Dr. Brilliant warns now that there may be 30 emerging human pathogens that have the potential to become epidemics."

"The public plays an essential role in the fight to contain and eradicate diseases like Ebola, Zika, and influenza," said Gupta. "It's always been my goal to bring the best scientific and medical information to viewers so they can make informed decisions that improve their health. The situation is urgent, but information can help make us less vulnerable."

Encore presentations of the film are scheduled for Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16. "Because we witnessed epidemics up close during filming, our team came away with hope that we can win the fight against them. Around the world, there are dedicated scientists, innovative technologists, heroic doctors and nurses, as well as survivors, moms, dads, sisters, and brothers, who understand we all have a role to play," said Tobias. "It's only by each of us doing our part that we will win the battle."

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