Wednesday, 31 July 2013

If you gave a virus legs and teeth...

Following on from my post on extreme epidemiology, zombies and World War Z, there is an article today in livescience (yes, it's all in fun).

The article, including some commentary from Prof Robert Smith? (that's an intentional "?"), an expat Aussie mathematician based at the University of Ottawa, and myself, an expat Kiwi. 

Prof Smith even has a book coming out on the if you're a hardcore maths enthusiast and hey, who isn't?... check out and debate this mathematical model from an earlier publication and other equations relating to zombification...

From: Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress. (2009). Ch4.p133-150 When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical Modelling Of An Outbreak of Zombie Infection. Munz, Hudea, Imad and Smith. Nova Science Publishers Inc
Smith's modelling has real-world applications,  having been useful in understanding human papillomavirus infections  and in getting the next generation of zombie fighters interested in mathematics.

Alternatively, if maths is not your thing, perhaps you are a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist and developing a suit of armour that protects you from zombie bites is more up your alley.

While the topic of zombies may be a bit much for some, the concepts underpinning the spread of a zombie virus are not very different from those due to any virus infection. More extreme, yes, but human virus infections, transmission conundrums and deaths due to real viruses are happening right now all over the world.