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When Zombies Attack!

If the day comes when zombies do begin to roam the streets, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan says in a blog post [the site appears to be down — clearly due to zombie hackers — so here's a Google cache page] to be prepared with an emergency kit and plan, just like for any other emergency. A kit would include food, water, and first aid supplies. "Although you're a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane," he adds. However, as the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog notes, some find the advice to be missing some key items — a comment at CDC suggests adding an aluminum baseball bat and Gawker a sawed-off shotgun.

In any event, while you're fending off zombies to gather at your pre-determined meeting place with family and friends, the CDC will begin its investigation of the zombie infestation. "CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie outbreak. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine)," Khan writes. "It's likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated."

Here at the Daily Scan, we assume that those lab tests and analyses will include PCR-based tests for the zombie virus, epigenetic analysis, and sequencing. After all, who wouldn't want to be the first to sequence the zombie genome?

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