Is The Disease From 'Containment' Real? The CW Series Strives For Authenticity

The CW is about to infect viewers with a brand new miniseries called Containment, premiering on Tuesday night. Executive producer Julie Plec has traded her Vampire Diaries and Originals blood-suckers for, well, real-life diseases in this 13-episode thrill ride. But is the disease from Containment real? According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Plec said that though the Ebola outbreak happened as she was adapting the show from the Belgian series Cordon, she didn't want the show or disease to be "icky, ripped-from-the-headlines."

Containment is about a mysterious and deadly outbreak that causes a quarantine in the city of Atlanta. Between the recent Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks, it sounds like a totally realistic situation. “About the time I was finishing my first draft, the Ebola outbreak happened, and suddenly, it was exactly the cultural conversation,” Plec said, according to the same article. “You are seeing what you are trying to portray as what could happen in a very real-world situation, and then you turn on the news, and it’s happening in the real world ... You feel this obligation to not aggrandize it and not exploit it."

While Containment's disease may not be based on any real outbreak in particular, the producers made sure that the series followed real-life Centers for Disease Control protocols, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We had a representative from the CDC helping us with questions of ‘this would happen or not happen,’" executive producer Chris Ord said. "By putting in those rules ... you don’t have to rely on supernatural or anything like that."

Here's what else you should know about Containment's fictional disease.

They Think It's The Flu (At First)

According the miniseries trailer, people seem to think it's just a simple flu outbreak. Boy, are they wrong.

They Don't Have A Lot Of Time

The disease in Containment kills within 48 hours, according to Deadline. The 13-episodes of the season account for 19 days of the mysterious outbreak.

It's Spread Via Sneezing

Mind your achoos. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, one of the ways the disease is spread by sneezing. "Sneezes are, like, a fear,” said actress Kristen Gutoskie, who plays teacher Katie Frank. “I was on the plane, reading a pilot on the way to Atlanta, and this guy kept sneezing beside me. And I just I could not sit still.”

According to the video above, people need to stay 4-6 feet away from infected folks.

There Are Fears About Its Origins

The trailer shows characters suspecting bioterrorism as the source of the disease. According to Deadline, Plec said, "I thought that with Syria bubbling in the news, and ISIS, it felt like a more topical show ... I don’t think it’s controversial. It’s a mystery, and more about how we, as Americans, are quick to jump to conclusions, and prey on fear, without having information."

The Virus Will Evolve

BuddyTV on YouTube

According to Buddy TV, Plec said that there will be "small shifts" in the disease in order to leave open the possibility for a second season. "There are some elements that shift about the virus, which throw people for a couple loops," Plec said in a video.

Plec Knows The Origin Of The Disease — But She's Not Telling

Jason Kempin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The EP knows how the disease came about, but she remained coy in a Buddy TV video. "It's not a Lost-sized mystery," she said in the video. "The virus itself is a monster."

Images: Tina Rowden, Bob Mahoney (2)/The CW