Thanks to all of the people who tweeted and left comments about the post yesterday, Is a “Zombie Virus” Possible? There are a couple of more instances that should be added to the previous examples of what could cause a zombie outbreak. First, from an article published in March of 2011, Discovery News explains how a newly discovered type of parasitic fungus takes control of ants by burrowing in their brains.
The research, led by Assistant Professor David Hughes of the University of Pennsylvannia, identified and described the parasitic fungus Ophiocordyceps unliateralis living on four species of carpenter ant (Camponotini sp.) in the Zona da Mata region of Brazil. Ants become infected when they come into contact with spores released by the fungus. Within a week the ant enters a “zombie-like” state. “This so-called zombie or brain-manipulating fungus alters the behaviors of the ant host, causing it to die in an exposed position, typically clinging onto and biting the adaxial surface of shrub leaves,” the study authors write.
Another important example already affecting humans is African Trypanosomiasis which is transmitted by the bite from a tsetse fly, through contact of contaminated blood, or through sexual contact.
African trypanosomiasis- better known as the African “sleeping sickness”- is a disease that neurologically turns healthy men and women into zombie-like, confused people, and can kill if left untreated.
Just a couple of more things to add to the list of why zombies are real… and should not be ignored. Stay tuned, more to come soon.