When Zombies Attack!

Link to paper:

We need some discussion questions:
-What problems do you have with the study? was it a waste of time?
-What do you think will happen if a huge plague strikes the earth?
-The paper suggests that a cure will allow us to co-exist with zombies, what do you think about this?
-Do you think the world will be able to scramble resources together to fight devastating outbreaks of a disease?

Summary of Introduction:

What is a Zombie?
Stories of zombies originated from the Afro-Caribbean spiritual belief system of voodoo. Followers of voodoo beleive that the dead could be revived by a sorcerer. They reanimated do not have free will, rather they would be under the controll of the socerer.
Middle Ages - France - believed the dead would return to avenge some wrong that happened while they were alive.
Zombies also appeared in many other cultures such as China, Japan and India.
Modern Zombies - Classical pop culture zombie - Night of the Living Dead - goal is to kill, eat or infect people, slow moving, mindless, driven by the taste for human flesh, feel no pain, some decomp evident. Potential to cause the end of human civilization.
New Zombies - 28 Days Later - Faster, more intelligent, and more independent than the classical zombie.
The paper uses the classical pop culture zombie for its models.

Summary of the Models:

-the basic models- is when a human is infected they turn into a zombie immediately, as seen in Fig. 3 (note the time scale is smaller)

-the latent model- is that a human who is infected will need to be left infected for a period of time before they become a zombie, during this time they can still die from natural causes. Result in Fig. 5, the time scale is twice as long. (I don't understand why in fig-3 all the people die but only about half turn into zombies where as with the latency period every one turns into zombies. I do not see a reason for this.)[actually upon reading it again i think the other half of the dead people are considered infected so on the graph they are unaccounted for b/c they are no longer susceptible or a zombie]

-Model with Quarantine-, infected or zombies enter quarantine at a specific rate, they can attempt escape and be killed, entering them into the "Removed" category at which time they can be reanimated into free zombies. in this model it is seen that the only way zombie infection will be controlled is if the rates we quarantine zombies and infected are larger than the rate zombies infect humans. According to Fig. 7 quarantine only delays immanent defeat (looking at the time axis). In this model they talk about their measure of success being R<1, and failure being R>1 (R i think is reproductive rate of the infection). Note there is no middle ground, also quarantine is not used to destroy zombies. Quarantine fails because there will always be zombies present (they are not killed just housed) and hence they will have a chance to get free and infect more.

-Model with Treatment- cure for zombie-ism but not immunity (cured people can still become zombies again, and no need for quarantine. only zombies can be cured, removed or infect cannot be cured. this allows equilibrium to be attained. Fig. 9 shows that in the zombie-human equilibrium humans survive but in low numbers.

-Model with Impulsive Eradication- we destroy zombies at different periods, and as time goes on more zombies are killed in each attempt. Thus, after 2.5 days, 25% of zombies are destroyed; after 5 days, 50% of zombies are destroyed; after 7.5 days, 75% of remaining zombies are destroyed; after 10 days, 100% of zombies are destroyed. (note after each attack zombie numbers bounce back until we destroy them all)

they assume short outbreak to avoid natural birth/death rates. if the outbreak was long term and birth/death rates where included, then we will be all doomed b/c there will be a limitless supply of bodies to infect. In reality disease cant bring people to life but there could be dormant infections.

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