Zombie disease is (almost) real

It just occurred to me that classic film zombie behavior is actually what humans would do if rabies affected us the way it affects other animals.

In humans, untreated rabies just causes a nasty and painful death.  In susceptible animals, it lowers fear and raises aggression, causing the animal to see any other animal as a mortal enemy to be killed at all cost – thus spreading the disease further.

Why didn’t I realize this sooner?  The modern virus-like version of zombism is not that far-fetched at all, and could easily be imagined as a mutated rabies virus.  I wonder if part of the popularity of zombie stories comes from the unconscious realization that this is a real-world behavior.

Of course, wild outbreaks of super-rabies are still a stretch of the imagination, as we’re pretty good at controlling the spread of even incurable diseases these days.


One Comment

  • Bud Bennett says:

    The legend of the vampire came out of a real human rabies outbreak which happened back in Serbia
    in the 1500’s. Sensitive to light, bleeding from the gums makes one think they’ve drunk blood,
    sensitivity to anything strong smelling (Garlic avoidance) and so forth.