Nature, climate, and stupidity produce a pandemic.
Grant Farnsworth, a post-doc student, veterinarian, and virologist at the University of Minnesota is upset when his professor tells him to prepare to work on tissue samples from a 1,200-year-old corpse called the Iceman, that was found in the Swiss Alps.
Grant is already working seven days a week and his wife is eight months pregnant with their second child. The situation becomes more complicated when a Swiss professor, to avoid regulations, smuggles the samples into the United States, putting Grant and his professor in legal jeopardy.
When a blizzard diverts the professor's flight to Chicago, Customs is hectic, and the professor mistakenly swaps his suitcase with Frank, a drug mule. When Frank discovers the mistake he and a friend follow the professor north on I-94 with the intention to do whatever is necessary to recover the missing drugs.
When snow forces the professor to stop at a motel in the hamlet of Kirby, Wisconsin, he has no idea that he's carrying drugs and that his life is in jeopardy.
When Switzerland announces that those who handled Iceman samples are ill, and several have died, Grant is sent to Kirby to find the Swiss professor and isolate the samples. At the same time, the CDC learns of the samples in Kirby and dispatches Dr. Sybil Erypet to Fort McCoy, a nearby Army base, to get the samples under control.
Between dangerous drug mules and infected tissue samples, many lives in the snow-bound village are in jeopardy.