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Zombie Warfare Preparation: Don't Get Bitten
The Number One Rule
So you've found yourself fighting a zombie infestation and you don't know what to do. There are a few things to keep in mind about your opponents. They are incredibly contagious. They are already technically dead. They don't eat, drink, sleep, breathe, or go to the bathroom. They are the most relentless enemy you will ever face. And they are driven to get you.
Don't worry, I'm here to help. If you follow my advice, you'll be able to get through this in one piece.
In the war against the undead, there are a few basic unbreakable rules that must be obeyed.
- Don't get bitten.
- Don't get scratched.
- If you are bitten or scratched, tell someone. If not for you, then for your loved ones.
- Don't get eaten.
- Don't travel alone.
- Don't travel unarmed.
- Don't attract attention.
These rules are not subject to debate. The only thing worse than being dead is being one of the undead. When you're undead not only are you dead, you are a danger to your loved ones.
So your first priority is to not become one of them. For the most part, the only way that can happen is to get bitten or scratched by a zombie. However, I must include this caveat - our data is incomplete. Some slain zombies have been found without bite or scratch marks. This is cause for some concern. Should we find that the "zombie virus" is transforming people while they are still alive, our rules will need to be amended.
Here is what we know so far. Shortly after a bite or scratch (within the hour), the wound will show signs of infection and begin to burn painfully.
Within five hours, the victim will start showing flu like symptoms, including, chills, fever, nausea, joint pain, and dementia.
Within eight hours of the wound the symptoms will intensify and the victim's fever and perspiration will be visibly apparent combined with numbing of the area injured.
Within eleven hours the victim will experience some partial paralysis as well as a slowed heart rate.
In the fifteenth or sixteen hour, the victim will usually fall into a coma. At this point, you may need to consider terminating the subject. For within four hours the victim will die and will animate anywhere from immediately to three hours after death.
Simply restraining a zombie victim will not be sufficient. There have been reports that a freshly reanimated corpse will not only struggle to be free, it will feel no pain as it may dislocate it's own arm (or break it off completely) in order to get to its prey.
Don't Get Bitten
The late Douglas Adams had once asked a venomous reptile expert what would happen if he got bitten by a deadly snake. The expert replied, "You die, of course. That's what deadly means. Don't get bit."
The same can be said about zombie bites.
The only way to survive a zombie bite is to not get bitten in the first place. From what we currently know about the zombie virus is that it's not an airborne disease. The zombie virus does not seem to be communicable through water or from animal meat. The only way to get the virus is directly through an open wound.
So the best advice is DON'T GET BITTEN.
Also getting scratched by a zombie is more probable than it sounds. Here's a quick trivia question regarding the human body - "What two things continue to grow on the human body after death?" Answer - Hair and nails. While a zombie's strength, speed, and muscle coordination degrade quickly after death, older zombies have longer nails.
Should you find yourself in combat with one of these disease bags, you should not only avoid their teeth, but you should also avoid their hands.
DON'T GET SCRATCHED.
How do I avoid getting bitten or scratched?
The easiest way to avoid getting bit or scratched is to stay away from zombies. That seems simple enough. You can't be bitten if there are no zombies around. Should a member of your party transform into one of the undead, you should be properly attired.
Much like walking through a snake infested jungle, it's best to wear things that are not easily bitten through. I recommend loose fitting, tough material. Thick denim, leather, or the more durable fabrics will be sufficient. If you can't immediately sink your own teeth through the cloth or material, it should be fine.
I also recommend high top boots - up to the calf.
Why do that? Some zombie hunters or parties are not thorough in how they dispose of the their undead.
While It has been clearly established that the most efficient ways to stop a zombie is to either destroy the brain through either a gunshot or through mashing it with a blunt object OR decapitate its head.
In the cases of decapitation, the head (and brain) controlling the zombie has been disconnected from the rest of its body - the head is still animated. Careless zombie hunters through either lack of time or under duress will leave the animated head behind. This head has one major danger. It can still bite.
I recommend that any still animated head should either be destroyed immediately by fire (cremation is best) or by smashing its brain with whatever blunt object is at hand. I also recommend that if the latter is undertaken, you should wear protective gloves or use a long handled spade to avoid accidental contamination.
Your lower extremities are also in danger from "draggers". These are ghouls that have either lost one or both legs or their body from the midsection down. These ghouls cannot walk. They can, though, drag their bodies along quite efficiently. Cases have been reported where members of a party on the run were bitten and attacked by a zombie that was on the ground. The zombie would either grab the victim's leg or bite through their ankle.
While we still don't know what had originally created this virus, we understand enough of it to know some of the more effective ways to avoid it. Reducing any amount of time near the undead, as with everything else, is the safest way to avoid contagion.
As with any toxic substance, from poison ivy to corrosive chemicals, you should wear gloves or thick clothing to avoid getting anything on your skin. As the zombie virus has been known to enter through open wounds, any scratches, bites, or cuts should be avoided.
If you're bitten or scratched, you should tell someone in your party, IMMEDIATELY. You should know that you will not recover. You will have your opportunities to say your "good-byes" and get the right person in your group to euthanize you properly. The transformation process is painful and should you find yourself exhibiting some of the symptoms, you should make plans to not only isolate yourself completely from your party but prepare for your eventual destruction by a loved one.