Spread of Disease: Zombies and “Contagion”

I recommend a book that is available for free online.
“When Zombies Attack! Mathematical Modelling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection.” Zombies are spreading like wildfire ( at least in some circles). This book uses zombieism as the disease of interest in developing a mathematical model of disease spread and transmission dynamics.


I was asked to review “Contagion”, with Matt Damon, et al., for the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (I am on the Council)–popcorn and a ticket to the IMAX version were included in the package. Far and away, it is the most accurate film that I have ever seen dealing with the development of an epidemic and its geographic spread. The scenario is entirely plausible, and the film does a wonderful job of teaching fundamental concepts in my area, such as the basic reproductive number (R-0), which is fundamental in describing and predicting the prevalence of a disease. It also introduces and explains some of the genomic tests for presence of a virus, but even more, it is an extremely realistic portrayal of how epidemiologic investigations work–geographers will be interested in the whole topic of spatial spread and how it is handled. It is a gripping, pseudo-journalistic coverage of an unfolding epidemic, with a tight story line, and excellent acting. I will use it as a teaching tool when it becomes available.

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