Ready for a Zombie Apocalypse? The CDC Has You Covered


No, it's not another "Mad as Hell Doctors Tour" - instead, the CDC got serious this week about protecting the public from a threatening health crisis: Zombies.

Are you and your patients ready for a Zombie Apocalypse?

No, it’s not another “Mad as Hell Doctors Tour,” where physicians — and the undead -- rise up and demand a universal single payer health system. Instead, doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention got serious this week about protecting the public from a threatening underground health crisis: Zombies.

"That's right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e," Dr. Ali S. Khan wrote on the CDC website earlier this week, noting that "Resident Evil" is his "personal favorite" zombie flick.

Khan, a rear admiral and an assistant surgeon general, explained to CNN that the idea for the post arose from a humorous discussion with his communications team, where they noted that what the CDC would recommend the public do if in the event of a real life “Sean of the Dead” is pretty roughly same thing they’d recommend in the event of a hurricane or a major pandemic.

Later, the CDC got a question about zombies during an online chat about radiation leaks related to the meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March, and they saw traffic spike, CNN reported. Khan and his communications team decided a zombie post might get the public interested in disaster preparedness, according to CNN.

The stunt, which was posted to the blog Monday, was such a success that it crashed the site Wednesday. The post had logged about 30,000 hits — or about three times as many hits as any previous post -- by the time the blog went down at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, CDC Associate Director for Communications Dave Daigle told Nextgov. The blog typically gets between 1,000 and 3,000 hits. (As a bonus, the entry would bulk up “Z” entries on the CDC’s A to Z Index, currently there's just "Zoonotic Hookworm” and “Zoster.”)

Among the emergency-kit items the CDC suggests you take with you to a “zombie-free refugee camp” are:

• Water (1 gallon per person per day)

• Food (non-perishable items that you eat regularly)

• Medications (prescription and OTC meds)

• Tools and supplies (utility knife, battery powered radio, and, as always, don’t forget the duct tape.)

• 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 certificat, etc.)

• First-aid supplies (although the CDC notes that “you’re a goner if a zombie bites you”)

The CDC concludes: “Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step.”

Think it can't happen? Watch the video from the last healthcare-driven Zombie Outbreak:

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Ankeet Bhatt, MD, MBA | Credit:
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