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If zombies attack, we have eight days

Four statisticians have mathematically modeled a zombie apocalypse, and their analysis and conclusion is grim. Find out how long humans have if there is a zombie outbreak.

University of Ottawa and Carleton University statisticians Philip Munz, Ioan Hudea, Joe Imad, and Robert J. Smith have mathematically modeled a zombie apocalypse, as published in the peer-reviewed book Infectious Disease Modeling Research Progress.

The analysis and conclusion of WHEN ZOMBIES ATTACK!: MATHEMATICAL MODELLING OF AN OUTBREAK OF ZOMBIE INFECTION, which can be used to model other real-world infectious diseases, is grim:

"An outbreak of zombies infecting humans is likely to be disastrous, unless extremely aggressive tactics are employed against the undead. While aggressive quarantine may eradicate the infection, this is unlikely to happen in practice. A cure would only result in some humans surviving the outbreak, although they will still coexist with zombies. Only sufficiently frequent attacks, with increasing force, will result in eradication, assuming the available resources can be mustered in time."

So, how long do humans have if the zombie outbreak happens? Eight days.

Thoughts?

75 comments
pgit
pgit

I think the study failed to account for the CAUSE of the outbreak. It may be unavoidable, i.e. effect 100% of the population as in the case of the Omega Man. We can only thank God Charlton Heston has unique blood...

pranay39
pranay39

If Zombies "Exist" and they "Attack"... If a Zombie is defined as an Undead, what is meant by the humanity getting infected by Zombies? It is surprising that the Western enlightened society subscribes to such non-materialistic notions and Techrepublic does not mind publishing the say. Surplus money with Governments could fund more tangible projects. Aren't Universities and their Learned becoming permissive to "Perversion accruing from Affluence in world pockets"?

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

The rate of spread of VD since the advent of widespread text messaging and/or internet dating vs the rate of spread prior to. Not zombie related, but WAY scarier!

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

"which can be used to model other real-world infectious diseases" How? The premise of this was based on the 'dead coming back to life' zombies. While such zombies may be scarier/cooler, it doesn't really provide much in the way of disease modeling. I can't think of another disease that continues to be problematic past the point of death in an aggressive manner. The 'infected' (I hesitate to call them zombies) from 28 Days Later would have been a better case study; for the purposes of looking at infectious diseases. They're as mobile as we are, have similar needs and susceptibilities (can be starved out or damaged with blows to parts of the body other than just the brain) and are just as aggressive as the Romero zombies. Fun read, nonetheless.

LouCed
LouCed

Remember, he gave himself a shot with the antidote when the chopper crashed.

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

Being a member of the perverse affluent western society, I am curious as to what tangible project you had in mind for my excess monetary funds?

JamesRL
JamesRL

Zombies are a part of western culture, but that doesn't mean westerners think they exist, apart from a few voodoo practitioners. The study may be using a non-existent entity, but the point of the exericse was to look into the math involved to create a model for what would be the worst possible secnario for infectious disease outbreaks. And if you read the thread, you will understand that it was a university study, and universities, while receiving some subsudies from the government, maintain academic freedom, at least in my country. Academic freedom has been the root of universities since the beginning, without it, there seems little point in having them. James

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Part of Romero's zombie perspective was the non-infected's reaction. In Dawn of the Dead, for example, certain gun-happy groups actually spent effort chasing down zombies. This of course exposed them to infection. Do the mathematical models reflect that I wonder? I mean, for a flu, the reaction would be to avoid the source of infection and not to actively seek it out.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...I'm applying tomorrow for my research grant. "Baby Naming: The Propensity for Certain Names to Appear More Frequently Atop the Stripper Pole." Extensive travel (Tampa, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Montreal, Windsor) and countless hours of dedicated interviewing will be required. :p

JamesRL
JamesRL

This was an academic paper. Please feel free to read it, its certainly more entertaining than some of the other papers in the same book. Its an academic exercise, to apply scientific methods to modelling something which can't happen. Still the math may be telling if instead of a zombie apocolypse we get a super infectious fatal disease. Dead is dead, whether its from Zombies or superEbola. T he point is, if the model holds, it might take as little as 8 days for civilization to collapse, if agressive countermeasures are not implemented quickly. Thats food for thought. James

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

On a technical forum, why do we have to put up with this sort of rubbish. I expected this article to be about botnets attacking data centres or something similar, not stupid undead theories. Please keep TechRepublic TECHNICAL, or at the very least, FACTUAL.

maecuff
maecuff

We all watch Shaun of The Dead as a training video.

pgit
pgit

Wow, memory can play tricks. I must have been melding a couple movies together mentally. But now I remember that, thanks. It's been over 2 decades since I've seen that film. I remember it creeped me out big time, as in nightmares over the next few years. But reality is just as bad as fiction, we're finding out these days. They do have 'race specific biological weapons,' who knows what else... And just yesterday listening to NPR the matter-of-fact stated the US was prepared to dump a rice-destroying fungus on Japan in WWII to basically starve well over half the population to death. Apparently we've been at it (our species) for a long time.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

but I think academic freedom has gone the way of the dinosaur. Universities are more and more beholden to government, along with the politics of the 'big donors'. Comp classes provide a great example. Beginning at the High School level, students are discouraged from stepping outside various politically correct boundaries. I see evidence of it all around me in my work.

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

The paper actually discussed the difference in quarantine and actively eliminating the source of the infection. Quarantine was seen as non-effective, due to the presumed massive number of infected and active infection elimination was encouraged. A much more frightening paper which I have read ina previous position as a government consultant took the position that "just in time" marketing of goods and services combined with a reduced number of hospital beds during a massive flu outbreak of a strain with a case fatality rate of 25% percent globally could lead to a complete breakdown of western civilization. The current H1N1 influenza (swine flu) death rate in the United States for 2009, as confirmed by laboratory tests, is 10%. I don't even want to imagine the possibilities for what this winter flu season holds in store, as this pandemic is looking ominously like the Asian and Hong Kong flu epidemics.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I think the point they and maybe Romero were making is that once the infected numbers reach a certain tipping point, collapse is inevtiable, so its better to be agressive in wiping out the infected than sit back and wait for the tipping point to be reached. James

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

Someone beat you to the top 10 list, so you're already halfway there. 1. Destiny 2. Candy 3. Angel 4. Cherry 5. Raven 6. Anastasia 7. Roxy 8. Houston 9. Porsche 10. Crystal Funny, I thought Chloe would be on there? I actually dated a "Candy" once.

Tom
Tom

If you are looking for technical articles, why did you click on the one called when Zombies Attack? Then why did you post a reply? We are having fun, you are just sad.

JamesRL
JamesRL

This is a scientific, peer reviewed paper. And it had real math in it. Sure zombies aren't real, they were used to get people to read, and as a way to explore a very worst case scenario - a disease where the carriers don't get better or die. I didn't find it rubbish, but then again, I actually read it. James

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

for the camcorder. I foresee a zombie porn niche.

jck
jck

I'm gonna watch Resident Evil: Extinction and watch Milla Jovovich kick some butt. ;)

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

you've reinforced my point. Academic freedom doesn't kick military recruiters off campus, lack of academic freedom does. Politically correct lack of academic freedom.

TNT
TNT

To pranay39 I say: Lighten up. It's all just for fun. To boxfiddler: Perhaps schools are beholden to government to some degree, but not enough in my opinion. When publicly funded universities can kick military recruiters off their campus academic "freedom" has gone too far. Likewise when teacher's begin re-writing history and teaching it as fact. I'd rather universities do studies on zombie outbreaks than half the other things they "research."

JamesRL
JamesRL

Yes we had 44 people die, but very few healthy people were at risk. The worst thing that happened was that it made it into a hospital and infected people who were already sick with other serious issues, most of them over the age of 70. There were 2 nurses and 1 doctor who died of the disease. To get SARS you really had to be in close contact with someone infected. There were many incidents of people travelling on airplanes who were infected, but who infected no one else. James

TNT
TNT

I was in India during the big SARs outbreak. At the time they thought it had originated in Singapore, where I had spent a day diving and sight seeing. I even traveled Singapore Airlines to and from India. People back in the States asked me if I was scared. I wasn't, because its outside of my control. If I get it I get, no sense in living like a hermit. The same goes for Swine Flu. I have to say that I don't know anyone who has ever had either disease. That said, if a Zombie outbreak happend its time to head for the desert where you can see what's coming at you from any direction, and load up on weapons, fuel, and a tank. Mad Maxx meets Dawn of the Dead.

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

My friend I can just see you in the streets with a neck tie around your head, shotgun in hand blasting zombies yelling, "Come Get Some!" Hail to the King, Baby!

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

It was probably an old figure I had seen somewhere as the virus appears to have become less lethal as time went on. Some was the HK and Asian flus int he summer, till the following winter when they appeared to have mutated again to become more lethal. That is a similiar pattern that was seen in the Spanish flu pandemic and with SARS. If I REALLY wanted to have nightmares, I would read that paper a friend sent me on how the Black Death might really have been an airborne viral hemorrhagic fever. Sometimes, I think my buddy is just wanting to see if he can scare me to death...

JamesRL
JamesRL

We had the big epidemic with SARS, and people were on the subway with masks, hundreds were quarentined, and 43 people died. But then some smart fellow pointed out that the same number of people had died in the same period of time in Toronto from the flu. The flu pushes people with weakened systems into great distress, but most of us survive just fine. As one of the local doctors who has a radio show once a week here said, if you have had flu this summer, its probably swine flu, so there are likely many more cases than reported. But since it is differnt than most influenzas, some people who are relatively immune to other flus will get sick. Canada has ordered 50 million vaccine doses, but many people may need more than one. James

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...they did an interview with Landon Donovan, one of the few big-name soccer players in the States. He recently had a bout of Swine Flu, and this is what he had to say about it: "I'm 100 percent back. It's funny that when people hear the words "swine flu" they think you're in the hospital. It was like having the flu and there were a couple of days it was rough, like any flu. ... Obviously, any flu can be serious and it can be fatal, but this was a lot milder than any I've ever had." As a matter of fact, he's playing against the Fire tonight here in Chicago. Still think I'll watch on TV, and avoid going, thank you! ;)

JamesRL
JamesRL

"As of July 31st, the World Health Organization reports 1154 deaths due to the H1N1 virus among a global total of 162,380 cases, for an overall mortality rate of 0.71%. Consequently the H1N1 death rate has increased more than 60% after holding steady at about 0.44% since mid-June. The current H1N1 death rate also surpasses the death rate from early June (0.66%). Among the tabulated deaths, 87% (1008) have occurred in North and South America. http://bmartinmd.com/2009/08/h1n1-mortality-rate-increases.html" Now the death rate is rising, but its still well below 1% let alone 10 world wide. Do you have a source for the 10% in US figure? Also factor in that in some areas, people aren't being tested anymore for swine flu, unless they are high risk. Many people who have died from Swine Flu also had an underlying condition that would have made them suseptible to ANY flu. James

santeewelding
santeewelding

Where your bloodless analytics are not welcome. I prefer running out into the streets screaming.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

I just saw that the initial 110 million or so doses of swine flu vaccine will actually be closer to 45 million initially. They do promise to come up with 20 million doses per week following that, though. Warm and fuzzy!!! ;)

BFilmFan
BFilmFan

Somehow, I would liek to have my case heard by Chief Justice Grand Master Flash. Has a kinda retro 30's serial feel to it. Maybe Ming the Merciless can be the Chief US Advocate from the Attorney General's Office.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

..to tie environmentalism with the current push for health care reform. I'll need to read up more on these "death panels". Hmmmmmmmm..... ?:|

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Mom could have named her "New York Mining Disaster 1941".

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I regularly remind my 75 year old father about the legendary Eskimo tradition of putting elders on ice floes for the polar bears to eat.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Never give a girl any of the '-andi' names: Candi, Andi, Mandi, Brandi, Sandi, and especially not Randi. These guarantee a career in 'adult films'. It's got something to do with the trailing 'i'.

LouCed
LouCed

Clinique -- The mother liked the sound Female -- Pronounced fe-maa-le (Fema with a Le at the end). The mother thought hospitals named children. Alpha Bravo -- weird dad.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Candy Lawgiver Cherry Justice Since Candy is often short for Candice, and Cherry a nickname for Cheryl, I think I can live with it.

maecuff
maecuff

at a place near my work whose name is Tragedy. Poor kid. What a great start in life she got. I heard her tell someone that her mother named her that because she was fond of the BeeGees and their song 'Tragedy'.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Ask yourself, would this name sound ok as..."Supreme Court Justice XXXXX lastname" How many of you wouldn't trust a Supreme court justice named Candy or Cherry. James

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I went to school with a John Dillinger and a Summer Masengil. Yeah, lots of people teased her and said her middle name should have been Eve.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...why people don't take naming their kids more seriously. After all, today's child is tomorrow's major decision maker (stay with family, in a nice facility, or in Shady Acres Home for the Mentally Distressed)!

JamesRL
JamesRL

Place names: Brittany, Chelsea (sorry) Drinks: Brandy, Cristal Food: Cherry, Candy, Apple So I am an old fuddy duddy. One of my neighbours made up a name, like the kid, but every time I say hi I think of the burden this kid will face, as his name sounds like a space age fibre. My wife swears this is true, one of the "clients" she counselled as a volunteer as a Moms and Tots program named her kid "Dejeuner", which means lunch in French. My wife tried to explain this would be a bad idea in a place where most kids take some basic french in school. She still liked the name. James

santeewelding
santeewelding

Have you learned nothing from all this? The way to deal with a zombie is dismemberment.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

Having dated girls with certain cosmetic enhancements, I have changed my opinion on them. I once thought a woman should leave her body alone and be self confident enough to get by without getting bigger breasts. Having listened to why some women choose to get it done, I can't blame them. It's their body and they can do what they want to with it. Coming from the guy's angle, it is really not our choice as it is her body. Besides, is defying age and gravity such a bad thing? Surgery has come a long way so they are very natural looking and feeling when done properly, not to mention scarring is no longer an issue. Now the pr0nstar triple d stuff is too far. :)

jck
jck

Jenna Jameson...has more synthetic parts than a barbie doll. I might watch it just because Rob Zombie did it. I like his film and music work. But for her? Nah. She appealed to me when she didn't have all the fake parts and more makeup than Tammy Faye on her face.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I saw it listed on netflix under popular new releases when it was new. With a name like that, how can a guy refuse??? Call it morbid curiosity I guess. Stars Jenna Jameson and her constant desire to break over into mainstream films. If you are easily grossed out, skip the movie. Some friends and I watched it after a football game and a few beers, and it was semi funny then. But as a serious movie? Definitely not...

jck
jck

is a movie I need to rent!!! ]:)

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

I sense an advertising niche. Somebody's gotta film all that brain munching so as to keep the zombie's drooling, so as to route them Lucy's Labyrinthe for fast food. :^0

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

Already been done? Not quite porn, but it did have an honest to goodness porn star for a lead character and lots of gratuitous nudity...as well as no plot. :)

jck
jck

It was a spoof on Night of the Living Dead. It's a real porn series tho from the 90s. I'll get ya a copy for ya birthday :^0

jck
jck

Pretend zombies, of course :^0

qwertyomen
qwertyomen

back to the topic of zombies, I wonder if ang and milla would still be hot as zombies? that would be a mean trap!

zenBiker
zenBiker

in keeping with the math theme z + h - w = 2z where: z = zombie h = human w = weapon (gun, bomb, etc.)

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

[i]With Jolie, I'd have the thought in the back of my mind that I may wake up tied to the middle of a pentacle, about to be the sacrifice part of a ritual performed just because she was bored.[/i] Is that a bad thing? That's a step up from dating a normal, boring woman! I prefer a woman who can keep me guessing so I'm ok with the sacrifice. :)

jck
jck

Damn...that's a nice thought...unless she has that gun pointed at ya lol

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

I wouldn't be afraid of falling asleep next to Milla. With Jolie, I'd have the thought in the back of my mind that I may wake up tied to the middle of a pentacle, about to be the sacrifice part of a ritual performed just because she was bored. No thanks.

jck
jck

I like Milla better too. Angelina just looks too barbie-ish. Milla is like a really pretty chick who when she kicks ya in the sack you like it no matter what. :^0

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

Just saying there is another Zombie movie supposedly underway that I'm looking forward to seeing, but haven't heard much on as of late. Loved the book 'World War Z'. Would actually prefer it be made into an HBO or Showtime series. On a side note, I'd take Milla over Angie. Of course, I have a thing for reds (my wife is one), so that may be why.

jck
jck

zombie bait + large incindiary bomb under bait = lots of zombie ashes :^0

jck
jck

I hope you're not comparing Milla to Brad. She is hot. He's just a druggie with a hot wife. :^0

Evcthosting
Evcthosting

No there would be math but the equations would look like this: human + gun = dead zombies

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...anyone have any word on when 'World War Z' if actually coming out? I know Brad Pitt's group licensed it, but that was the last thing I heard. Even IMDB doesn't seem to have much info.