The Zombie Virus, also known as the Zombie Plague, is a highly evolved virus of unknown origins that turns its hosts/victims into Zombies.
Spread through the ingestion, injection or transfusion of blood or saliva of a zombified individual, the virus has a reasonably fast incubation time.
Information beyond speculation on how the virus manages to alter the host's body processes to such a degree that the heart and lungs no longer need to function for the host to continue to survive is still forthcoming. The virus has also, since its discovery, seemingly evolved to the point that hosts infected with the virus now fully retain the same level of cognitive ability and self awareness as they did before their infection.
Despite claims to the contrary in old folk tales, the zombie virus is fairly weak and only able to infect the body of a host that is already near death as the immune system of a body at full health will easily dispose of the viral infection.
- While human mythology covers human-turned zombies, it is unclear whether other species can also be affected by the zombie virus.
- The Zombie Institute for Theoretical Studies (ZITS) is a program through the University of Glasgow. It is headed by Dr. Austin. Dr. Austin is a character that has been created by the university to be the face of ZITS. The ZITS team is dedicated to using real science to explain what could be expected in the event of an actual zombie apocalypse. Much of their research is used to disprove common beliefs about the zombie apocalypse as shown in popular media. They have published one book (Zombie Science 1Z) and give public "spoof" lectures on the subject.
- On May 18, 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article, Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse providing tips on preparing to survive a zombie invasion. The article does not claim an outbreak is likely or imminent, but states: "That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this...." The CDC goes on to summarize cultural references to a zombie apocalypse. It uses these to underscore the value of laying in water, food, medical supplies, and other necessities in preparation for any and all potential disasters, be they hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, or hordes of ravenous brain-devouring undead.
- In the unclassified document titled "CONOP 8888," officers from U.S. Strategic Command used a zombie apocalypse scenario as a training template for operations, emergencies and catastrophes, as a tool to teach cadets about the basic concepts of military plans and disaster preparation using its admittedly outlandish premise.