Zombie Apocalypse – How Disease Control Prevention Would Handle It
An employee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has blogged that the agency stands ready to assist in the (ahem, unlikely) event of a zombie apocalypse. Good news!
Ali Khan writes, “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.” I don’t know why Khan doesn’t appreciate that the zombie apocalypse qualifies as a real emergency, but I am glad that he’s taking it seriously enough to write about it.
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide 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 (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).
Good to know, CDC!