(Mirror Daily, United States) – They are mean, they are menacing, and they are ready to bring forward the end of the world, as we know it. Who are they? Zombies, of course. The undead or the living dead, as we like to call them, have been the source of inspiration for many horror movies, video games, and novels. And the idea of being turned into a mindless creature, who instinctually seeks to eat brains, is quite frightening.
Of course, it wasn’t long before the subject caught the attention of scientists. Recently, a team of students from the Lancaster University wanted to determine if humanity can survive a cataclysmic event involving hordes of brain-eating zombies.
The students started from the assumption that a highly dangerous and virulent pathogen is the cause of people rising from the grave to torment the living. Using the SIR model, an epidemiological mathematical model, which explains how a virus infects a population, the students from Lancaster predicting that humanity could disappear in less than 100 days.
To arrive at this conclusion, the team of students used the following assumptions: a zombie can infect only one person per day. Moreover, the risk of contracting the pathogen after being bit by a zombie is higher than 90 percent. And last, but not least, a zombie cannot live more than 20 days (more than likely due to their accelerated metabolism).
As for the projected rate of survival, the students declared that no more than 100 or 200 human being would survive should a zombie apocalypse occur. However, there’s a chance that we may still survive a zombie plague.
When they first applied the SIR model to study the disease’s dissemination, the students failed to account for other variables such as rate of birth or about us fighting against the zombies. After introducing these new variables into the model, the group has discovered that our chances of survival would increase by a factor of ten.
Bottom line: what should humanity do when the zombie plague arrives? Obviously, pick up something resembling a weapon and start hacking. In addition, there is another thing that might give us an edge against the zombie plague, a factor which was overlooked by the research team – a cure.
Although the probability of finding a cure before extinction is marginal, it’s still a possibility, one that should not be overlooked.
Image source: Pixabay
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