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In the movie Contagion, it is shown that the character Mitch Emhoff was immune to the deadly virus which was spreading.

  • Mitch's wife Beth dies almost within a day after reaching home.
  • Mitch's son dies the very same day when Mitch is on his way home from the hospital where Beth just expired.
  • While accompanying his daughter Mitch is never seen wearing a mask, which proves that he himself believed that he was immune.

Back in Minnesota, still in quarantine, Mitch asks Mears if he is immune since he has not shown any symptoms and he also asks why they cannot use his blood to make a vaccine. Mears tells him even though his intentions are noble, plasma vaccines are tricky and time consuming to make and are not guaranteed to work Source

In the rest of the plot, this issue about Mitch not having symptoms even being in close proximity with his wife and son, is not addressed.

Hence my question: Was Mitch really immune? If so, how come he was the only character who was immune when the whole world was falling apart due to this virus outbreak?

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It's inferred in the movie that he just been told he's immune by the doctor. She specifically says that he cannot get sick.

MITCH: If I'm immune, can't you use my blood to cure this?

MEARS: Blood serums can take a long time to make, and are very expensive.>But the good news here is that you're not going to get sick.

The first sentence here indicates he's asking about something he's just be told.


In the rest of the plot, this issue about Mitch not having symptoms even being in close proximity with his wife and son, is not addressed.

If he's immune then proximity is not an issue.

Being immune means he can't be infected.

We vaccinate people by giving them a mild form of the disease or similar disease so that their bodies become immune by teaching their body to create the necessary antibodies to resist the disease. In some cases people have natural immunity.


If so, how come he was the only character who was immune when the whole world was falling apart due to this virus outbreak?

He wasn't...

..as is stated in the movie

Other scientists determine the virus is spread by fomites, with a basic reproduction number of four when the virus mutates, with projections of one in twelve of the population being infected, and a 25-30% mortality rate.

Wikipedia

It's the nature of a virus that a proportion of the population will be immune to it. The amount of that proportion varies from virus to virus.

  • Firstly thanks for a well structured answer.You are assuming he was immune while that was my first question. For the second point thanks for the reference.Your second ans in turn answers my first question too. Mitch may very well have been immune if "projections of one in twelve of the population being infected". Its actually not an issue of proximity then. – Sudip Biswas Dec 15 '17 at 20:43
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    @SudipBiswas It's difficult (some might say impossible) to prove a negative. How do you prove that something is impossible when the thing in question never happened anyway? He didn't get infected during the course of the movie, despite an obvious lack of precautions. Is it possible that he isn't immune and just got really lucky? Sure, but we have no way of proving that since, one way or the other, he never got infected. – Steve-O Dec 15 '17 at 21:13
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    It's inferred in the movie that he just been told he's immune by the doctor. She specifically says that he cannot get sick. – Paulie_D Dec 15 '17 at 21:19
  • @Steve-O.True. Hence I accepted the answer. I wasn't looking for a "proof" rather a reference that explains Mitch being immune. It wasn't directly addressed.When Mitch asks (Kate Winslet's character) if he was actually immune, she doesn't really answer his question, right? That was what my point was. – Sudip Biswas Dec 15 '17 at 21:21

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