The virus can attach itself to an unknown bacteria immune to antibiotics (I've simply titled TXT1) that's disguised itself as the common cold, but gets into the bloodstream through the lungs. Then when in the bloodstream in rides all the way into the brain, where it kills the human. But the virus who hitchhiked a ride to the brain on the TXT1 bacteria then needs to infect more people to keep the species going, so through the virus's capabilities of attaching to cells and bending them to their will, the virus restarts the brain. It restarts the area of the brain that controls movement to solve the problem of being unable to infect people once the host is dead. So moving back to my question; How long would it take to infect the world with the kind of zombie virus I've described? And how would this realistically affect the world?
closed as too broad by Aify, adaliabooks, Vylix, sphennings, Azuaron Aug 18 '17 at 13:10
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There are some issues in your story:
- As Mike points out, a bacterium cannot disguise itself as a virus. Moreover, a cold cannot kill too much.
- Once the host is dead, reactivating his brain will not enable the muscles to move. The virus may control the movement area, but the muscles won't have an energy supply to move.
But let's say that a generous sprinkle of handwavium can solve those points. Present day health organization is robust. Any case of "he got a flu, died of it and now he is walking back again with nasty intentions" would quickly be spotted if it happened in any major area.
That would lead to quick investigation and quarantine measures (that's how Zika, Ebola and other potential pandemics were contained). If it happened in some remote area, well, the remoteness of the area will make the spreading more difficult by itself.
The only way you can spread a world wide pandemic is giving your virus at least the following attributes:
- long incubation period (so that the sick person is not spotted too early)
- ability to infect others well before the symptomatic phase
Then place the patient 0 in a hub (a place where a lot of potential hosts can be met and further infected) like a station or an airport.
Also the rate of growth will not be so much, you have to make him infect people by everything, mosquitos, bodily fluids, air etc.And also very durable.