The zombie apocalypse

A new scientific paper written by Neil Ferguson, one of the world’s leading epidemiologists, a group of Canadian researchers is great cause for alarm:

Zombies are a popular figure in pop culture/entertainment and they are usually portrayed as being brought about through an outbreak or epidemic. Consequently, we model a zombie attack, using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies. We introduce a basic model for zombie infection, determine equilibria and their stability, and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions. We then refine the model to introduce a latent period of zombification, whereby humans are infected, but not infectious, before becoming undead. We then modify the model to include the effects of possible quarantine or a cure. Finally, we examine the impact of regular, impulsive reductions in the number of zombies and derive conditions under which eradication can occur. We show that only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all.

By using an infectious disease model they conclude that, absent a cure, only several massive  eradication programs that simultaneously eliminate large portions of the zombie population will stave off the zombie apocalypse.

And you were worried about swine flu. Ha!

Thankfully this is the apocalypse I am most prepared for.

3 thoughts on “The zombie apocalypse

Add yours

  1. Intrigued I went looking for the paper using google & the second sentence as a search term & ended up here: a paper with the abstract described above, but by Philip Munz, Ioan Hudea, Joe Imad & Robert J. Smith at Universities in Canada, not Prof. Neil Ferguson. Using google Scholar I couldn’t find it, the first hit being and the nicely titled “Emotional contagion and the ‘infectious’ service smile: A response using parody” by Janet Sayers.

  2. You are correct, I made a mistake in attributing the paper to Furguson, when he was only actively promoting it. I think it is safe to assume he is a big zombie fan:)

    Thanks for pointing out my error, I have corrected the post.

  3. I also just realized that I never linked to the paper as I intended. Very sloppy of me.

    This just underscores that I really shouldn’t post something when I only have 5 minutes before I have to leave the house… of course I already knew that:)

Leave a Reply

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑