How will the zombie virus spread? Hint: probably not by bites.

Redneck with a gun.

Way to be a hero, Cletus. You remembered to buy all the ammunition in the county but not to wash your hands.

I have another zombie article posted.  In this one I lament that virtually nobody is preparing for the virus in the form we’re likely to see.

One of the biggest problems facing anybody in a zombie scenario is that there are so many unknowns.  This is exacerbated by the fact that so many people are planning for the inevitable based on what they’ve learned from works of fiction.  For instance, how do zombies make other zombies?  By biting, right?  And how do you know?  Because that’s the way it is in all the zombie movies and video games.

Well survivor, that shit ain’t science.  The whole point of evolution, whether it’s evolution of mammals or viruses, is that lifeforms adapt.  There are certainly diseases that are more successful than others because of they way they transmit.  Herpes is more widespread than rabies because biting is a generally crappy way to spread a disease, while lots of people have sex.  The common cold infects pretty much everybody every year because it is transmitted through the air or by contaminated surfaces, it doesn’t even care if you’re having sex with someone like herpes does.

What this means is that the zombie virus is far more likely to be spread via the means of avian flu than by rabies.  So how does this change your plans?  Once again, like with nuclear reactors, just because you don’t see any zombies doesn’t mean you’ll be safe.  Do you ever see those full suits the CDC wears when they’re in an area with an outbreak of some new disease?  You know – the ones that cover their whole bodies with an air-filtering helmet reminiscent of Darth Vader?  That’s because the virus could be in the air or on the handrail they just touched.

Go read the whole thing for my pantented three steps to make sure you’re safe from airborne infection.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.