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Medicine Idle

CDC Warns of Zombie Apocalypse 300

scotbuff writes "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have written an article about preparing for a zombie apocalypse on their blog. The CDC knows that a zombie apocalypse is no joke. 'If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated.'"
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CDC Warns of Zombie Apocalypse

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  • While the CDC doesn't think that there'll actually be a zombie apocalypse, they do recognize that some really bad scenerios involving contagious disease could happen, and the effect on society could come to resemble that of a zombie apocalypse.

    Instead of biting you to infect you, someone coughs on you instead, either way you end up dead.

    And the CDC is arguably more important than the US Military, and neglected. Which is REALLY a bigger threat to us, the military power of any foreign adversary, or a highly contagious disease that knows no borders?

    At this point I'd like to remind everyone that 44,000 of us die every year from antibiotic resistant germs. Exactly how many of us died in 9/11? 3000? And yet we spend trillions on our military, and... HOW MUCH, on new antibiotic development???


  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @03:34PM (#36183428)

    You obviously didn't read the article.

    It has some sensible disaster preparedness stuff in it. Just because it references popular culture doesn't mean it's a waste of money.

    Government documents are boring enough as they are.


  • by Swanktastic ( 109747 ) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @03:34PM (#36183432)

    Personally, I think it's brilliant. Someone out there was assigned the job of getting as many people as possible to read some really boring emergency preparedness webpage, and they succeeded a million times over. It's on the front page of the WSJ.

  • by LordStormes ( 1749242 ) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @03:37PM (#36183466) Homepage Journal

    The reason for this should be clear - has ANYONE here read a disaster preparedness article in the last 3-4 years? Probably not. This got the post on the front page of Google News, /., CNN, and countless other news sites. The page was "Slashdotted" all afternoon. How many people got educated about what to do in a disaster because they thought, "Oh, zombies, lulz!" I know I did. This stunt got them more exposure than $25 million in advertising could. I'd MUCH prefer that our government do cheap and more effective things whenever possible (especially when I get a laugh as a bonus), as opposed to tossing money everywhere for no effect.

  • Re:Damage Control (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <<moc.xobreven> ... .vidavsxd54sals>> on Thursday May 19, 2011 @04:19PM (#36184004) Homepage

    Zombie apocalypses don't make much sense at all, unless zombieism (zombiism?) has a very long incubation period.

    Why? Because zombies are horribly bad carriers of disease.

    Think about what would actually happen. Let's assume some sort of worse case scenario, where zombies managed to overrun a small town or something. Let's say 100 people somehow get infected before people notice, which incidentally is incredibly high. Zombies are not subtle, and surely one of them would attack someone in sight of another person who could flee.

    The word will get out, and at that point it's trivial to stop them from spreading, because zombies are very easy to identify. We'd put up quarantines, and only let the non-undead through.

    Yes, some zombies would slip through, and, yes, they'd infect others, but once anyone actually knew what was happening, it would be common to start greeting people in the distance, 'I'm not a zombie!' 'Me neither!' 'Okay then, come over!'. I can even imagine people come up with some complicated hand waving that zombies don't do, depending on the rules. (Some have a rule that zombies remember stuff they did a lot in life, like open doors, so hand-waving may not work.)

    But seriously, think about it. Zombieism is a great metaphor for a very contagious disease. But it's a rather sucky actual disease within the rules laid out for it. Actual diseases spread because people do not know they are infected, and neither do other people, and go about their business.

    Zombies are obviously infected, and, what's more, don't drive from town to town or visit places by air or anything. Set up a fence already.

    This is why all zombie fiction either starts with the zombies inexplicably already deeply entrenched, or is limited to a small area and over a small span of time, in a place where people are somehow greatly outnumbered by zombies, or have a cause of zombieism that effects a lot of people at once.

    This is because it's nearly impossible to explain the actual spread of them across a large area in any reasonable way. I don't even mean 'the spread unchecked by man', although that would hinder them...but zombies are pretty shitty carriers of disease even when no one's against them.

    Humans have cars, and will quickly leave zombie infested areas, while the zombies go after them. (Even 'fast zombies' can't beat a car.)

    The only way a zombie apocalypse plausibly works is if something beside humans also carries it. Like birds or something.

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