Wired has uncovered this interesting Canadian mathematical research model that can allegedly fend off a zombie attack. The key of course is to “hit hard and hit often” (Meanwhile, Boston police will warn us if and when a zombie attack breaks out).
Yes folks, a real study on mathematics of a hypothetical zombie attack which is also published in a book on infectious disease…
“An outbreak of zombies is likely to be disastrous, unless extremely aggressive tactics are employed against the undead,” the authors wrote. “It is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble.”
According to the research, the model focuses on modern zombies, which according to them are “very different from the voodoo and the folklore zombies.” (Yes, because zombies exist) It takes into account the possibility of quarantine and treatment, but shows that there is only one strategy likely to succeed: “impulsive eradication.”
“Only sufficiently frequent attacks, with increasing force, will result in eradication, assuming the available resources can be mustered in time,” they concluded. Really? No way!
The equation they’ve come up with is where S = susceptibles, Z = zombies and R = removed. If an infection breaks out in a city of 500,000 people, the zombies will outnumber the susceptibles in about three days.
Therefore, it begs to ask, what happens if humanity doesn’t act quick enough?
“If the timescale of the outbreak increases, then the result is the doomsday scenario: an outbreak of zombies will result in the collapse of civilization, with every human infected, or dead.”
And if that isn’t grim enough… “This is because human births and deaths will provide the undead with a limitless supply of new bodies to infect, resurrect and convert.”
For those interested in reading the full study, you can look up the article at your school library or get it here: “When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical Modelling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection,” [pdf] by Philip Munz, Ioan Hudea, Joe Imad and Robert J, Smith?. In “Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress,” eds. J.M. Tchuenche and C. Chiyaka, Nova Science Publishers, Inc. pp. 133-150, 2009.