Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
A Yugoslavian tourist in Africa buys a flute from a very sick man at a bazaar, unwittingly picking up the dread disease of smallpox in the process. When the tourist passes through the controls at Belgrade airport, he is already feeling the effects of the sickness and ends up in a ward at a hospital while the doctors try to diagnose his condition. The chief doctor misdiagnoses the man's illness and as a consequence, the smallpox spreads like wildfire -- to the little boy in a bed near him, to an unfortunate plumber, to the nursing staff -- and he dies before these others also succumb, within a matter of hours. The doctor who guessed wrong about the man's condition locks himself up in his office for protection and injects himself with serum as a safety measure. Meanwhile, after much bumbling along, the place is quarantined and the World Health Organization has someone arrive in a space suit to decontaminate the hospital and end the epidemic. Though what has happened to the flute that started the deaths? Some remaining scenes clue the viewers in to this unsettling question.
smallpox, epidemic, death, doctor, hospital, outbreak, race-against-time, tourist, flute, disease