Tara Smith, a microbiologist and infectious disease epidemiologist at Kent State University in Ohio (USA) explains how it is possible that only the disease affects the disease that affects the characters in this series.
Characters from The Walking Dead they survived the zombie apocalypse for many years, and they built the self-sufficiency of the community for this, with animals like mules and horses. It seems, however, that a series of these animals do not allow zombies. We were not crazy, we know that zombies do not exist, but Tara Smith, Microbiologist and Infectious Disease Epidemiologist at Kent State University, Ohio (USA) he answered the doubts LiveSience about how it is possible that the disease that affects the characters of the series only affects people.
It is not known what kind of pathogen causes zombie disease in showIt can be a bacteria, a virus, a fungus, an element or even something of a universe that people have never seen before. However, some events suggest it's a virus, like when the characters learn that they all become zombies when they dieWhether or not they were one. "Some viruses are very specific for each species," explains Smith. For example, measles and smallpox: "People seem to be the only guest for them, they do not cross the species." (Read: In The Walking Dead do not kill the zombies well, according to science)
Of course, not all viruses are limited to a single species. "One of the ways we believe Ebola could spread to people, especially people in West Africa in 2014, was through contact with bats or the possibility of eating bats, we are not 100% sure, "Smith said. Either way, bats seem to be tanks, but they are not affected. It's not a symptom, but it causes huge symptoms in humans. "
And that's also true for other viruses, such as hantavirusSmith said. Rodents carry hantavirus in the western United States and when they dry out their feces are dried and the virus becomes an aerosol, then people inhale the virus and get infected. On the other hand, the virus could affect certain selected groups of animals, "like flu viruses," he said. "Some influenza viruses can affect a wide range of species as we saw in the outbreak of the H1N1 epidemic in 2009."
Animals and zombies
"Viruses usually have tropism, which means they can only bind to certain types of cells," Smith said. "Sometimes there may be proteins that could bind to cells, ubiquitous for all animals or all mammals, or it may be very specific. "(You can read: what science knows about zombies)
As a specialist in infectious disease, Smith is not the first to ask for a hypothetical epidemic of zombies: her advice on how to avoid a pathogenic zombie is the same as for a real pathogen: wash your hands, cook the meat thoroughly, and avoid cuts or injuries when you sacrifice animals. In general, "You want to avoid as much blood contact as possible," he said.