A Biosecurity Lesson Courtesy of Castle

The plot of the latest episode of Castle was ripped right from a bioterrorism scenario and was well worth watching. The episode weaved together various elements that are all very real concerns including:

  • The theft of a deadly pathogen from a laboratory
  • The deliberate infection of someone via a novel device
  • The anticipation of that person spreading the pathogen
  • Stockpiling of vaccines

To fill in the blanks, a vial of H5N1 avian influenza goes missing, a man is infected via his asthma inhaler, individuals on the subway with this man are exposed, and stockpiled vaccine is administered to contacts.

I was pleasantly surprised that most of the science was right and there was an acknowledgment of the realm of biosecurity on such a popular television show, illustrating that the general public has not only understanding of these issues but also an appreciation.