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If everyone is infected, why do zombie bites kill you?

posted by Siniistar on - last edited - Viewed by 2.7K users

This is a very common question, but i think its time we had a serious discussion about it

If everyone is in fact, already infected with the virus that causes reanimation, then what is it about a zombie's bite that kills you? is it the fact their flesh is so rotten that you get a bad bacteria infection and die? because antibiotics can fix that easily.

So if its not an infection, what is it? Surely there's no magical reason why you die(TWD doesn't deal in wizardry as far as i know).

I remember someone suggesting they give you a virus that attacks your immune system similar to a fast acting version of AIDS independent of the reanimation, but i think the writers said that it had nothing to do with a virus or something to that effect.

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  • Get bitten by a human will probably result in infection let alone a decaying zombie

  • To echo what was above a little, supposedly they host a nice variety of mostly antibiotic resistant bacteria, which means no vaccine would really help there, especially since it isn't a specific type and rather it is just a big mess of bad bacteria. They even said somewhere (not looking for sources, too lazy) that it is possible, just highly unlikely due to the nature of the bacteria, to actually combat it with powerful antibiotics.

  • @Siniistar said: This is a very common question, but i think its time we had a serious discussion about it

    If everyone is in fact, already infected with the virus that causes reanimation, then what is it about a zombie's bite that kills you? is it the fact their flesh is so rotten that you get a bad bacteria infection and die? because antibiotics can fix that easily.

    So if its not an infection, what is it? Surely there's no magical reason why you die(TWD doesn't deal in wizardry as far as i know).

    I remember someone suggesting they give you a virus that attacks your immune system similar to a fast acting version of AIDS independent of the reanimation, but i think the writers said that it had nothing to do with a virus or something to that effect.

    Theory on How The Zombie Virus Accelerates Infection, Even When The Infection Is Already Prevalent -

    This is just a thought, okay? But let's say that the zombie 'virus' comes in two forms, a dormant, and a active form, okay? So, what happens when the infections first start?

    I don't know how the infections first began, but if it was something like the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in Atlanta having a sample from either some arcane source (like a rare virus from Africa, or China [See Outbreak movie, or trailers for World War Z] or some government germ warfare project [28 days movie?]) Which starts everything falling apart, then if there are two forms, the initial infection implies that the virus and it catalyst were brought together and then accidentally or purposely released.

    So the world goes to heck in a hand basket.

    Now come up to the present with our Telltale characters, where Lee and company find out that no matter how you die, that you 'turn'. So what we may have, since the virus is released, is a return to 'dormant' and 'active' forms, where the virus that is airborne has already infected most of us. It might be cool to assume that there are some, perhaps in underground bunkers, or perhaps in remote areas where prevailing winds were detoured, are still 'uninfected'. But at this point that is pure conjecture for a story arc that Telltale or Robert Kirkman may decide to never go into.

    But for explanation purposes, let us assume that the reason we 'suddenly' succumb when bitten, when we are already infected is that, the dormant virus that is in most people already is 'triggered' when a zombie bite or scratch transfers the 'active' portion of the virus to the survivor.

    Without the 'active' portion of the virus, the 'dormant' form can exist for seemingly years? Or a lifetime without the carrier showing evidence of the disease.

    But this seems to me, that the 'carrier' portion of the virus could carry on, to children, if they were conceived after the apocalypse started, by the parents transferring it to the child. Or It may even prove to transfer to an uninfected survivor, child or not, if the virus is continually 'stirred up', but that may be a completely 'local' phenomenon, where lets say you came from a bank vault in a small town and survived the initial exposure, and then escaped town after most of the zombies had decayed to the point of no longer functioning, or even of being infectious any longer.

    Which means moving into areas where zombies were still active and functional could expose you to the carrier portion of the virus, and a bite/scratch could 'activate' it.

    But such a theory also means that if survivors could wait long enough, perhaps several months? Or a year? That the infected populations would have decayed and dried out [no more moist viable tissue remaining] then the 'carrier' portion of the virus could die. Perhaps meaning that if there were survivors that came into an area in containment suits with their own oxygen supply and were bit, or scratched, that they may not have been exposed to the underlaying 'carrier' portion of the virus first, so the bite might cause a nasty infection, but not a zombifying infection that would turn the survivor into a zombie.

    Which might actually be cool, eh? :)
    Of course this is only my 'theory', and Kirkman and Telltale have their own ideas, so maybe it will never be this way at all, but if I were writing a book, it might be cool to think of the virus working like this because it makes things hit and miss and gives people both dispair, but also hope of the virus dying out. :)

    -Teal

    //

  • @Siniistar said: This is a very common question, but i think its time we had a serious discussion about it .

    Very common question, but not by a long shot the first time we've had a serious discussion about it. In fact, we've serioused it to death. Here are good threads you can go to that aren't full of TealBlue's rampant spamming:

    Virus:
    http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36075
    http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36700
    http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36749
    www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39215

    Cross Contamination:
    http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38685

    Animal Infection:
    http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38683

    Or if you want Kirkman's official word, read the letter hacks from Issue 41:

    The rule is: WHATEVER it is that causes the zombies, is something everyone already has. If you stub your toe, get an infection and die, you turn into a zombie, UNLESS your brain is damaged. If someone shoots you in the head and you die, you're dead. A zombie bite kills you because of infection, or blood loss, not because of the zombie "virus."

  • It's like an electronic thing that requires two batteries, I guess. One battery won't work without the other - the Infection won't work without the Bite, and possibly, the Bite won't work without the Infection.

  • @JakeSt123 said: ...the Infection won't work without the Bite...

    Except that tons of people turn without being bitten. Travis/The Teacher, the girl in Ben's story...I can name people from the comic and show too.

  • The infection does work without a bite. In this world you turn regardless of how you die (excepting holes and the like to the head/brain).

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    Sorry for those multiple Teal posts. The forum automoderation feature had confiscated these posts upon posting (possibly decided they were too long), so Teal probably thought they were lost and wrote them again in slightly different form. I approved these posts just some hours ago, so they all popped up right now.

    There's no spamming going on here. :)

  • zombies have a komodo dragon like bite, and the rule is when you die you turn unless brain damage killed you or your brain is damaged before you turn.

    the bite and the zombie infection are unrelated but i believe that the zombie virus uses the bite to help spread infection, like how a cold makes you sneeze and you spread the infection

  • You're getting it right from the source when you get bit by the zombie.

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