Using a mix of dramatized sequences, interviews with top experts and breathtaking 3D animations from inside the body The Virus Empire uncovers how these invisible enemies spread.

Viruses are one of the biggest killers in the world. In the 20th Century more people died from viral infections than from all the wars around the globe. With reconstructions, The Virus Empire uncovers how these invisible enemies are spread and the science behind them.

The Virus Empire uses an exciting mix of dramatized sequences, visually appealing reportage elements, interviews with top experts worldwide and breathtaking 3D animations from inside the body.

Episode 1: Silent Killers
In 2003, SARS broke out in Hong Kong to then conquer the world. It was a Chinese physician, Dr. Liu who infected 17 hotel guests within a few hours, who then dispersed the lethal virus throughout the world within a few days.

In 2003, SARS broke out in Hong Kong to then conquer the world. It was a Chinese physician, Dr. Liu who infected 17 hotel guests within a few hours, who then dispersed the lethal virus throughout the world within a few days. With dramatic reconstructions, this episode shows how the virus was spread.

Episode 2: The Invisible Enemy
Smallpox is the only virus that is officially eradicated. That is why only elderly age groups are vaccinated against it. But stocks of the virus are still held by certain governments and this episode goes onto show what might happen if those sources were used as a weapon of mass destruction.

Terrorists manage to infect the napkins used at the closing reception of an international congress in Berlin with smallpox viruses. The New Yorker virologist James Baldrin and the medicine student from Dortmund, Sammie Mahale are among the victims. A few days after the attack the whole world is panicking with 37 countries recording a smallpox outbreak.

This episode features the work of researchers like Brazilian Luiz Pereira, American Nathan Wolfe or French Xavier Pourrut in the tropical forests in South America, Asia and Africa and their hunt for the coming killers. These are the still unknown viruses that could very soon jump from animals to humans. Experts fear that during outbreaks of killer viruses like ebola or the Marburg virus, terrorists could get the germs from the infected persons and then synthetically multiply them – as it was done in Soviet laboratories twenty years ago.

A ColourFIELD Production for Radio Bremen, Arte and WDR

2 x 45′ or 3 x 30′ Can also be made available

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