Zombies Could Overrun a City Frighteningly Fast

Computer model shows Chicago 'zombified' in 60 days
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2016 8:26 AM CST

When humans start developing a taste for brains, best get out of Chicago pronto. Using a computer model that helps predict the spread of diseases like Ebola, the Argonne National Laboratory has determined a zombie virus could spread through the city, turning some 2 million people into zombies, in just 60 days. "No part of the city would be spared," researcher Chick Macal tells the Chicago Tribune. That's just the worst-case scenario, however. Humans would fare better if groups were trained to kill zombies or if officials told residents how to keep zombies at bay, according to the study, which will help researchers in "finding interventions that result in better outcomes, or even optimal outcomes," for real diseases, Macal says.

Researchers accounted for the 2.9 million people in Chicago as of 2000, then built simulations based on how they move about the city, per a release. They then introduced a small group of slow-moving zombies. When a zombie met a human, researchers calculated the likelihood that the person would kill the zombie (fight the virus) or get bitten (become infected). In the worst-case scenario, all humans were "zombified" within 60 days, with about 500,000 zombies killed before that time. But in a few simulations, "zombies were contained, and there wasn't massive spreading beyond a small number of places where the zombie outbreak began," Macal says. In other words, there's still "great promise for countering the zombie apocalypse." (This man claimed he shot at a zombie.)

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