The Huffington Post
reports that over the years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released tongue-in-cheek "zombie warnings" that were intended to raise public awareness for disaster-preparedness. But in recent times, the media have been reporting bizarre and gruesome incidents of people attacking others and eating human flesh. The most prominent was the case of Rudy Eugene, 31, who attacked a homeless man and chewed off his face. Digital Journal
reports that his girlfriend speculated that Eugene may have been victim of a voodoo curse.
Other related incidents in recent times include the case of a 29-year-old Canadian man named Luka Magnotta, who "reportedly stabbed, decapitated, and performed sexual acts on the dismembered body parts of his lover, recording and then posting the film online for people to see." Then followed the report that 21-year-old Alexander Kinyua confessed that he dismembered his roommate and ate his heart and brain.
The Huffington Post
reports that following the series of incidents, by Friday morning, the term "zombie apocalypse" had become Google's third most popular search phrase.
, in a tongue-in-cheek report, detailed evidence that the zombie apocalypse has begun: a "mysterious rash" that broke out at a high school in Hollywood and parts of Florida, and another at a Broward County school, including a "mysterious" chemical at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that caused hospitalization of some people, but which HazMat investigation crew were "unable to provide conclusive data."
timeline for the "zombie apocalypse" suggests that it began on May 16:
It all started on 5/16 with an ominous story about a "mysterious rash" at McArthur High School in Hollywood that launched a HazMat investigation. Twelve students and two teachers were treated and released. The source of the rash remains unknown.
Flashfoward two days: HazMat crews were called in to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to determine the source of an "unknown chemical" that sent five people to the hospital. Theories abound, but an exact cause was not confirmed.
On 5/20, the first real sign of trouble: 41-year-old Dr. Zachary Bird, was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol near Orlando and charged with felony battery charges for spitting blood in a patrolman's face. He was also "extremely agitated and enraged," and repeatedly banged his head on the patrol car's plexiglass partition "until he bled."
Following these "warning signs" of the zombie apocalypse, a concerned reader on The Huffington Post
offered the public the following advise: "Action must be taken now before an outbreak! Zombies may be subdued by destroying the brain or removing the head. It is now your responsibility to prevent the apocalypse."
The growing concern about zombies and the pattern of incidents that triggered it off has forced the CDC to issue statement that zombies do not exist.
According to the agency spokesman David Diagle, in an email to The Huffington Post
: "CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms)."
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a zombie is a "A person held to resemble the so-called walking dead."
The Huffington Post
quotes Max Brooks in his "The Zombie Survival Guide":
ZOM-BIE: n. also ZOM-BIES pl. 1. An animated corpse that feeds on living human flesh. 2. A voodoo spell that raises the dead. 3. A Voodoo snake god. 4. One who moves or acts in a daze "like a zombie." [a word of West African origin].
wonders that with increasing number of cases suggestive of impending zombie apocalypse, how seriously can we take CDC's statement that they do not know of any virus or condition that could lead to zombies? IB Time's tongue-in-cheek advise: "Take caution, and be prepared for anything. They live among us."