Ok ATS let's talk zombies. Not walking dead movie zombies. I mean zombies I acutally see being a possibility in life.
Ok now hear me out. Rabies.
The Rabies Virus
Rabies virus belongs to the order Mononegavirales, viruses with a nonsegmented, negative-stranded RNA genomes. Within this group, viruses with a
distinct "bullet" shape are classified in the Rhabdoviridae family, which includes at least three genera of animal viruses, Lyssavirus, Ephemerovirus,
and Vesiculovirus. The genus Lyssavirus includes rabies virus, Lagos bat, Mokola virus, Duvenhage virus, European bat virus 1 & 2 and Australian bat
Rabies as we know it wouldn't cause our zombie apocalypse. Humans acquiring rabies is indeed rare. First you need an infected animal and then you need
to get bitten. The rabies virus is a slow, painful death. The only treatment is to get a rabies shot. If you aren't aware you have rabies and get your
shot to late then you die.
Because there is no cure and death is almost certain, treatment for rabies involves supportive care. However, if a person is bitten by a rabid animal
and has not yet experienced symptoms, there is an extremely effective post-exposure treatment, which includes an injection of rabies immune globulin
and several containing rabies vaccine given over a 28-day period.
Now, moving on. Rabies by itself is a deadly virus. Imagine it genetically altered. Yes, it is possible. Countries experiment with viruses all the
A genetically-engineered virus tested in 30 terminally-ill liver cancer patients significantly prolonged their lives, killing tumours and
inhibiting the growth of new ones, scientists reported on Sunday.
If it can be done in a life saving way it can be done in a life taking way.
I touched on how hard it is to contract rabies. Now lets go in to our lab and alter that a bit. We could change the transmission from just bites to
adding an airborne element to it. Coughing and sneezing becomes a problem.
To get to the zombie elemnt of my OP. Rabies causes a delusional state. Vivid hallucinations, intense agitation, disorientation, as well as the
physical pain your in. You'll become..well rabid. While I won't say you'll be trying to munch on brains there would be intense violence. As this is
going not only are your bites spreading it but so is the air you've contaminated. Would be easy enough to contain people biting. The air is
contaminated now though as well. You'll get more and more infected people. Theres your zombie horde.
Could very well be the end of the world as we know it. With all the weapons experiments that take place whos to say a rogue nation or even one of ours
take this virus and turn it in to aweapon with unknown potential. Drop some of that engineered gas and your all set. Possible? I think so.
Well hope you enjoyed reading. Thoughts? Opinions?
This was all theoretical of course. Just was trying to find an interesting topic to put on the board.
edit on 16-12-2013 by Isittruee because: (no reason given)
I haven't had enough coffee yet to go searching for links but not long after the first "zombie" attack down in Florida someone posted a thread with
some very interesting information. Per the articles linked in the thread 3 or 4 months (maybe less?) before the attack there had been a minor breach
at the CDC in Atlanta. In unrelated news shortly thereafter there had been an outbreak of a new? strain of rabies in the southeastern portion of the
US. I can't remember if the links were in the OP or in some of the replies but if anyone can find it there was some very interesting info there.
Is any of that related or just isolated incidents? Only the CDC knows, but I wouldn't put it past them to play with the genetics of a disease just to
see if they can do it.
I recently watched a "documentary" about zombies. They interviewed a scientist who said, specifically, the rabies virus crossed with a flu strain
could produce the closest thing to a zombie virus. In nature that would prove hard, but then people get involved and mess things up. The documentary
was from 2011, I think. It also featured Max Brooks, in case anyone wants to look it up.
This is actually the direction a lot of recent "zombie" flicks have gone. I believe in the Spanish movie REC (2007), the disease is
specifically a mutated form of rabies and then there's Quarantine (2008), the American remake. In general most "zombie" movies, TV show,
comics, books etc produced since 28 Days Later (2002) have "zombies" that are not really the undead so much as virus infected live humans.
There are a few problems I see right form the start:
1. It takes a while for symptoms to develop after infection with Rabies.
After an average of 30 to 50 days (as short as 14 days or longer than a year) from exposure to a rabid animal, a person develops an
2. Rabies doesn't really cause Rage Virus like symptoms.
...that may include fever, sore throat, stiff muscles, headache, tiredness, restlessness, nausea, and itching or tingling at the site of the bite.
As the disease progresses, a person may become agitated, with periods of calm. Fear of water caused by severe throat spasms when trying to drink may
occur. Paralysis then starts in the legs and moves towards the head. Most people die from cardiac arrest or respiratory failure within a short period
after onset of illness.
3. Untreated, Rabies is always fatal. Once the symptoms become noticeable, people typically die within 10 days.
4. Rabies doesn't confer super human strength, speed or resistance to injury--if anything it would be the opposite. Rabies infected people die just as
easily as anyone else.
It's theoretically possible—though extremely difficult—to create a hybrid rabies-influenza virus using modern genetic-engineering techniques, the
University of Miami's Andreansky said.
"Sure, I could imagine a scenario where you mix rabies with a flu virus to get airborne transmission, a measles virus to get personality changes, the
encephalitis virus to cook your brain with fever"—and thus increase aggression even further—"and throw in the ebola virus to cause you to bleed
from your guts. Combine all these things, and you'll [get] something like a zombie virus," she said.
"But [nature] doesn't allow all of these things to happen at the same time. ... You'd most likely get a dead virus."
My husband paid some of his "dues" so to speak working in the state rabies testing lab. He always had his shots, but I still remember the day he
called upset because he had splashed himself in the eye with water that had matter in it that might or might not have been contaminated with infected
brain tissue. Eye to brain is a very short path to travel! Those were some uncomfortable days waiting for results even though the doctor he was
working under assured him that even if the matter was infected, infection would be highly unlikely because he'd had shots.
I agree with others that while the rabies virus would make a good place to tinker with, it would need some substantial work to be an ideal zombie
Why not look at some of the parasitic agents running around the animal kingdom?
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