As unbelievable as it may seem, some scientists actually took time of their busy schedules to model with mathematical rigor the possibility of a zombie attack occurring, and also discovering possible ways to survive it. The authors of a new study on this issue, which was published in a book on infectious diseases, say that highly aggressive tactics need to be employed in case of the unlikely event, and that no mercy must be shown, if humankind is to survive, Wired reports.
“An outbreak of zombies is likely to be disastrous, unless extremely aggressive tactics are employed against the undead. It is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble,” the authors state. This is somewhat obvious. “Clearly, this is an unlikely scenario if taken literally. But possible real-life applications may include allegiance to political parties, or diseases with a dormant infection,” they add. However, scientists have known for a long time that a zombie attack is technically possible, due to considerable advancements in technology. Nanobots have been mentioned as a possible reason for the dead walking the streets again.
According to their paper, the zombies that were used in the new model are of the modern variety, “very different from the voodoo and the folklore zombies.” The model comprises several options and scenarios, including successful and unsuccessful quarantine, as well as the possibility of some humans surviving, but having to coexist with the zombies. The study's conclusion is that “impulsive” eradication is the only possible way for still-living people to continue, well, living, in case of such an attack.
“If the timescale of the outbreak increases, then the result is the doomsday scenario: an outbreak of zombies will result in the collapse of civilization, with every human infected, or dead. This is because human births and deaths will provide the undead with a limitless supply of new bodies to infect, resurrect and convert,” the authors add.
They also published an applied model of their theory, which shows that an outbreak appearing in a city of about 500,000 inhabitants would take about three days to convert the entire town, not accounting of course for Bruce Willis-type heroes, who may delay this deadline.
The study appears in the book 'Infectious Disease Modeling Research Progress', and is entitled “When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical Modeling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection.” Its authors are Philip Munz, Ioan Hudea, Joe Imad and Robert J, Smith, graduate students at a leading Canadian University. They spent countless hours in their learning institution's basement, wondering what the mathematical probabilities of humankind surviving a widespread zombie attack would be.