It appears George Romero was right: Canadian mathematicians have concluded that a zombie outbreak could lead to the destruction of civilization in short order unless dealt with aggressively at the outset, according to a report on the BBC.
The scientific paper is published in a book, Infectious Diseases Modelling Research Progress, the BBC reports:
They say only frequent counter-attacks with increasing force would eradicate the fictional creatures. ...
In some respects, a zombie "plague" resembles a lethal rapidly spreading infection. The researchers say the exercise could help scientists model the spread of unfamiliar diseases through human populations. ...
In their study, the researchers from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University (also in Ottawa) posed a question: If there was to be a battle between zombies and the living, who would win?
Professor Robert Smith? (the question mark is part of his surname and not a typographical mistake) and colleagues wrote: "We model a zombie attack using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies.
"We introduce a basic model for zombie infection and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions."
The most interesting part of this study, of course, is why would a professor spell his name with a question mark? (To distinguish him from The Cure's lead singer, we're told. Because I'm sure people mix them up all the time.)
Oh, and fans of 28 Days Later? The mathematical study is based on Romero's classic slow-moving zombies to give humankind a fighting chance.
God help us if zombies are able to run.