It seems improbable but what if the science behind a zombie or zombie like outbreak ends up being possible? Below are some scenarios that support the possibility that a zombie like outbreak could really be possible one day.
Possible Zombie Outbreak Scenarios:
Perhaps the military dun goofed with a ‘bio weapon gone bad?’ Because let’s be honest, we never know what our governments get up to behind closed doors.
Maybe some nut job with some spare cash finances the release of a deadly virus? Imagine Pinky and the Brain trying to take over the world, but with zombies.
Did you ever consider a fungal infection being the cause of a zombie outbreak? Totally different huh?
Well its plausible, for example some ants in the world when infected with a fungal spore called the ‘Ophiocordyceps fungus’ are prone to feast upon fellow ants in order to feed the parasitic fungal infection that is controlling them. Who knows, maybe a nut-job scientist could engineer this 48 million year old fungus to control humans and hey-presto, we have a zombie apocalypse on our hands!
The good old viral infection!
This is the most common model of a zombie outbreak, where a virus enters your blood stream via a zombie bite or scratch and hops along to the brain where through processes unbeknownst to us, kills us, and then is kind enough to replicate the cells around the frontal lobe in order to turn us into the mindless, shambling zombies we see in the media.
Sticking to the viral infection, transference is 100% commutable and fatal to the recipient, if you are bitten or bled on and a transference of fluids takes place, then you will be infected and begin the long and horrible journey down the rabbit hole.
Therefore being bitten is not the only way to get infected, if you have sexual contact with an infected person, then you could be infected as well. So basically, don’t have sex with zombies.
Sorry to burst your bubble guys and gals, but there is no such thing as a treatment when considering a viral infection. Yup you heard it right. The reason there is no such thing as treatment is because this virus is a VIRUS! Not a bacteria; therefore antibiotics will not do much good. Antivirals are also unlikely to exist.
Also immunization will not work as the virus cannot create dead pathogens; the virus consistently replicates itself through the manipulation of the frontal lobe. Imagine stem cells recreating themselves rather than other cells around the body, that is essentially how this virus operates, and therefore injecting dead pathogens for immunization is futile as they would regenerate and give you the fully fledged ‘fuck you over’ virus.
Severing limbs is an option if the virus has just entered your body through a bite, however, you would be surprised how quickly the blood in your body will circulate, therefore the appendage must be severed immediately, also there is still a chance that the infected blood will mix with the non-infected blood during the operation.
Bloodletting is not an option, as with snake venom, you cannot drain every artery and vein at once, and all arteries and veins link in with each other, so the virus would spread immediately with no chance of being able to expunge every drop of blood from your arm or leg quickly enough.
In the zombie flicks 28 Days Later and I Am Legend, an unstoppable viral plague sweeps across humanity, transforming people into mindless monsters with cannibalistic tendencies.
Though dead humans can’t come back to life, certain viruses can induce such aggressive, zombie-like behavior. For instance, rabies—a viral disease that infects the central nervous system—can drive people to be violently mad, according to Samita Andreansky, a virologist at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine in Florida who also appears in the documentary.
Combine rabies with the ability of a flu virus to spread quickly through the air, and you might have the makings of a zombie apocalypse.
Rabies Virus Mutation Possible?
Unlike movie zombies, which become reanimated almost immediately after infection, the first signs a human has rabies—such as anxiety, confusion, hallucinations, and paralysis—don’t typically appear for ten days to a year, as the virus incubates inside the body.
Once rabies sets in, though, it’s fatal within a week if left untreated.
If the genetic code of the rabies virus experienced enough changes, or mutations, its incubation time could be reduced dramatically, scientists say.
Many viruses have naturally high mutation rates and constantly change as a means of evading or bypassing the defenses of their hosts.
There are various ways viral mutations can occur, for example through copying mistakes during gene replication or damage from ultraviolet light.
“If a rabies virus can mutate fast enough, it could cause infection within an hour or a few hours. That’s entirely plausible,” Andreansky said.
Airborne Rabies Would Create “Rage Virus”
But for the rabies virus to trigger a zombie pandemic like in the movies, it would also have to be much more contagious.
Humans typically catch rabies after being bitten by an infected animal, usually a dog—and the infection usually stops there.
Thanks to pet vaccinations, people rarely contract rabies in the United States today, and even fewer people die from the disease. For example, in 2008 only two cases of human rabies infection were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(See pictures of infectious animals in National Geographic magazine.)
A faster mode of transmission would be through the air, which is how the influenza virus spreads.
“All rabies has to do is go airborne, and you have the rage virus” like in 28 Days Later, Max Mogk, head of the Zombie Research Society, says in the documentary. The international nonprofit is devoted to “raising the level of zombie scholarship in the Arts and Sciences,” according to their website.
To be transmitted by air, rabies would have to “borrow” traits from another virus, such as influenza.
Different forms, or strains, of the same virus can swap pieces of genetic code through processes called reassortment or recombination, said Elankumaran Subbiah, a virologist at Virginia Tech who was not involved in the documentary.
But unrelated viruses simply do not hybridize in nature, Subbiah told National Geographic News.
Likewise, it’s scientifically unheard of for two radically different viruses such as rabies and influenza to borrow traits, he said.
“They’re too different. They cannot share genetic information. Viruses assemble only parts that belong to them, and they don’t mix and match from different families.”
Engineered Zombie Virus Possible?
It’s theoretically possible—though extremely difficult—to create a hybrid rabies-influenza virus using modern genetic-engineering techniques, the University of Miami’s Andreansky said.
“Sure, I could imagine a scenario where you mix rabies with a flu virus to get airborne transmission, a measles virus to get personality changes, the encephalitis virus to cook your brain with fever”—and thus increase aggression even further—”and throw in the ebola virus to cause you to bleed from your guts. Combine all these things, and you’ll [get] something like a zombie virus,” she said.
“But [nature] doesn’t allow all of these things to happen at the same time. … You’d most likely get a dead virus.”
OKAY! Well that’s an imperial crap ton of information for you to drool over! Please feel free to get involved as well with our stories, give us ideas for future scenarios and areas you would like us to cover.
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