WHAT IS A ZOMBIE: The walking dead are neither a work of black magic nor any other supernatural force. Their origin stems from a virus. The virus works by traveling through the bloodstream from the initial point of entry to the brain. The virus uses the cells of the frontal lobe for replication, destroying them in the process. During this period, all bodily functions cease. By stopping the heart, the infected subject is rendered dead. The brain, however, remains alive hut dormant, while the virus mutates its cells into a completely new organ. The most critical trait of this new organ is its independence from oxygen. Once mutation is complete, this new organ reanimates the body into a form that bears little resemblance (physiologically speaking) to the original corpse. Some bodily functions remain constant, others operate in a modified capacity, and the remainder shut down completely.

1. SOURCE: Unfortunately   extensive research has yet to find an isolated example of this virus in nature. Water, air, and soil in all ecosystems, from all parts of the world, have turned up negative, as have their accompanying flora and fauna. At the time of this writing, the search continues.
2. SYMPTOMS: The timetable below outlines the process of an infected human (give or take several hours, depending on the individual).
Hour 1: Pain and discoloration (brown-purple) of the infected area Immediate clotting of the wound provided the infection came from a wound).

Hour 5: Fever (99-103 degrees F), chills, slight dementia, vomiting, acute pain in the joints.

Hour 8: Numbing of extremities and infected area, increased fever (103-106 degrees F), increased dementia, loss of muscular coordination.

Hour 11: Paralysis in the lower body, overall numbness, slowed heart rate.

Hour 16: Coma.

Hour 20: Heart stoppage. Zero brain activity

Hour 23: Reanimation.
3. TRANSFERENCE: The virus is 100 present communicable and 100 percent fatal. Fortunately for the human race, the virus is neither waterborne nor airborne. Humans have never been known to contract the virus from elements in nature. Infection can occur only through direct fluidic contact. A zombie bite, although by far the most recognizable means of transference, is by no means the only one. Humans have been infected by brushing their open wounds against those of a zombie or by being splattered by its remains after an explosion. Ingestion of infected flesh (provided the person has no open mouth sores), however, results in permanent death rather than infection. Infected flesh has proven to be highly toxic. No information-historical, experimental, or otherwise-has surfaced regarding the results of sexual relations with an undead specimen, but as previously noted, the nature of the virus suggests a high danger of infection. Warning against such an act would be useless, as the only people deranged enough to try would be unconcerned for their own safety. Many have argued that, given the congealed nature of undead bodily fluids, the chances of infection from a non-bite contact should be low. However, it must be remembered that even one organism is enough to begin the cycle.

4. CROSS-SPECIES INFECTION: The virus is fatal to all living creatures, regardless of size, species, or ecosystem. Reanimation, however, takes place only in humans. Studies have shown that the virus infecting a non-human brain will die within hours of the death of its host, making the carcass safe to handle. Infected animals expire before the virus can replicate throughout their bodies. Infection from insect bites such as from mosquitoes can also be discounted. Experiments have proven that all parasitic insects can sense and will reject an infected host 100 percent of the time.

5. TREATMENT: Once a human is infected, little can be done to save him or her. Because the virus is a virus and not bacteria, antibiotics have no effect. Immunization, the only way to combat a virus, is equally useless, as even the most minute dosage will lead to a full-blown infection. Battlefield experiences have led to the immediate severing of the infected limb see pic 1 (provided this is the location of the bite), but such treatments are dubious at best, with less than a 10 percent success rate. Should the infected human choose suicide, he should remember that the brain must be eliminated first. Cases have been recorded in which recently infected subjects, deceased by means other than the virus, will nonetheless reanimate. Such cases usually occur when the subject expires after the fifth hour of infection. Regardless, any person killed after being bitten or otherwise infected by the undead should be immediately disposed of.

6. REANIMATING THE ALREADY DECEASED: It has been suggested that fresh human corpses could reanimate if the virus were introduced after their demise. This is a fallacy. Zombies ignore necrotic flesh and therefore could not transfer the virus.