I love CDC’s new efforts to attract our attention to prepare and get ready for a disaster. It is one of the most creative efforts I have seen…and fun too! As the CDC website notes…”There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.” Read on…
Zombies – A Brief History
Zombies….have attracted our attention for years…there are lots of great films about them…Here is a bit of history as told to us by the CDC…
- Where do zombies come from?
- The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead.
- Through ancient voodoo and folklore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born.
- In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids.
Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schoolman wrote a (fictional) medical paper on the zombies presented in Night of the Living Dead
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Living_Dead) and refers to the condition as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome caused by an infectious agent.
The Zombie Survival Guide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Zombie_Survival_Guide) identifies the cause of zombies as a virus called solanum.
The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?” Will you can go to the CDC website to find out!
Never Fear – CDC is Ready!
CDC works hard to provide us reassurance that if/when zombies do start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. This would include 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. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas…sign me up!