Wednesday, May 18, 2011


  Sounds Like ME/CFS to Me

One of the CDC's polite press guys, David Daigle, whom I've had the pleasure of speaking with on several occasions, posted this how-to manual to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse, on the CDC's Public Health Matters Blog.  Curiously, what causes folks to transmogrify into zombies appears to be, according to Daigle, an infectious agent passed in a bite or bodily fluids that causes a neurodegenerative syndrome.  Does David Daigle know something we don't know?  Not to mention that patients describe both being a zombie and ME/CFS as "a living death," "death warmed up" and "I feel like such a zombie!" 

Below, in purple, is an excerpt from Daigle's post, which drew a whopping 23,000 readers to the lonely CDC blog--a record--causing the site to crash. 

Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. 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, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

A Brief History of Zombies
We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite is Resident Evil), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Through ancient voodoo and folk-lore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born.

In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids. Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schoolman wrote a (fictional) medical paper on the zombies presented in Night of the Living Dead and refers to the condition as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome caused by an infectious agent. The Zombie Survival Guide identifies the cause of zombies as a virus called solanum. Other zombie origins shown in films include radiation from a destroyed NASA Venus probe (as in Night of the Living Dead), as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prions, mad-cow disease, measles and rabies.

The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”

Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for real emergencies too!

Some of the supplies for your emergency kit
Better Safe than Sorry
So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored). Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.
  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
  • Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
  • Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
  • Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
  • Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
  • Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
  • First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)


  1. The CDC is late on this topic, it has already been covered very well by The Oatmeal:

  2. I am so glad the CDC has its priorities straight. God knows being sure people are prepared for the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE is more important than those of us who are sick and dying from M.E. (Myalgic Encepahlomyelitis). After all, we were just active and productive citizens adding our contributions to our nation and the world until we were struck down by this horrible disease. What are death and disease compared with BEING FUNNY?

    If these CDC press guys such as David Daigle have time to talk about the dangers of zombies, one would think they would be able to help pursue the CDC's defined goal of preventing the spread of disease, such as Myalgic Encephalomyeltitis.

    Patricia Carter

  3. They can do this but they can't change the CDC CFS website? I'm so happy My tax dollars are used so effectively. Sigh...

  4. Hmmmmm...makes me wonder if a zombie themed protest or flashmob might get a bit of attention.

  5. that's a great idea about a zombie-themed protest! although I do wonder if people might think its a joek

  6. I bet the austism parents aren't happy about this either.


  7. Yes, but is it Section 508 Compliant?

    You know that is why the CDC can't change a thing, it is so hard, Soooo Hard to be Section 508 Compliant!

  8. @ David: Not if the Zombies are sporting "Silence=Living Death" stuff and passing out educational literature. the 'joke' would get public attention and perhaps lure a few well people in to take part?

  9. Hmmm, maybe we should bite David Daigle.

  10. I applaud the use of humor on an otherwise serious site to make a point. Sadly, in the event of a real zombie apocalypse, the CDC would declare mass hysteria and go home.

  11. At least people with the illness are fully aware that something is horribly wrong.
    The rest of society appears to be completely oblivious that something is seriously amiss.

    Perhaps it is those who don't have any outward signs of ME/CFS who truly have the purest form of a brain-destroying apocalyptic disease.

  12. You guys complaining about this need to lighten up. All this really is showing is how to put together a decent survival kit for ANY emergency, not just zombies. If putting zombies in the title gets more people aware as to how to survive in a disaster then good for them for being creative enough to get it out. Don't be so judgmental just because they aren't doing it exactly the way you think it should. I love this post by the CDC.

  13. "Perhaps it is those who don't have any outward signs of ME/CFS who truly have the purest form of a brain-destroying apocalyptic disease."

    i don't understand what you're trying to say here. perhaps the pure form is just a carrier waiting to erupt.

  14. Any apocalypse survival guide that's worth its salt will cover zombies. Everyone knows Z day is on the way its just a matter of time!


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