Could This Parasite Spark a Real-Life Zombie Apocalypse?

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“It’s possible,” says author Liam Roth. “What the public doesn’t know about the parasite T-gondii (toxoplasmosa gondii), could endanger the world to a new kind of outbreak. T-gondii is known as the ‘zombie virus’ and could possible bring the events of a zombie-like apocalypse to term.”

Humble, TX, November 12, 2014 – Zombies have been the subject of television shows, movies, and graphic novels, with audiences captivated by The Walking Dead, World War Z, and The Living Dead series. While these titles are fictional entertainment, is it possible that a zombie outbreak could occur?

In 2011, NPR’s All Things Considered aired a story about a “mind-controlling virus.” Listeners of the radio show might’ve thought they were hearing a horror novel read aloud, based on the events included; however, the tale was real. Toxoplamosa gondii, also known as t-gondii, is a parasite that takes over the host’s brain resulting in zombie-like actions. This horrifying virus is explored in the new novel, Zombies Begin, by Liam Roth. Zombies Begin (available on depicts the beginning of a zombie pandemic. Although fiction, the science it’s based on is very real.

T-gondii is an insidious parasite that infects rats, but must be bred within a cat’s intestines. The virus takes over the rat’s brain, driving it to be consumed by the cat. Scientists have observed the virus’ hold of the host’s brain, and observed erratic changes in behavior. This same parasite, if mutated, may have the potential to turn anyone into a raving, animalistic beast, no longer human. The danger? A third of the human population is estimated to have a toxoplasmosis infection, according to the CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Here is where fact meets fiction.

Zombies Begin is the story of Michael Fuller and his descent into a zombie pandemic. After consuming a rare Chinese meal with a work colleague, Johnny Chen, Fuller soon learns Chen is infected with a mysterious illness, the likes of which have never been seen before. Soon he realizes he too may have this illness, and is the target of a manhunt. Now he’s in a race against time to stop the zombie pandemic from occurring from his hand. There’s no cure, and there’s no coming back from it.

Zombies Begin was inspired by T-gondii and the events the parasite may bring over time. Toxoplamosis has been linked to a number of mental disorders including ADHD, schizophrenia, and OCD, as scientists have linked its mannerisms with the behaviors of these mental conditions. The fact is, while zombies aren’t real yet, the possibility exists if a human-mutated T-gondii infection occurred. In a time where concerns of Ebola and other viruses, such as Enterovirus D68, dominate the airwaves, considering the possibility of a zombie outbreak like the events of Zombies Begin may be warranted.

Contact: David Gough


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