Friday, July 19, 2013

Primer on Pathogens: Part 3/3

Sometimes you need to take a silly quiz to learn a point.

That's why I like The Ultimate Zombie Apocalypse Survival Quiz. Now, of course, the quiz is in jest but it brings up several important points when we talk about pathogens and your susceptibility to them. How are zombies often made-- by an infectious disease process-- at least in books and movies.

But it also examines survival techniques. Have you thought through aspects of survival in your mind? The more you rehearse emergencies-- the more apt you are to act. This is one reason why we practice "mock codes" in the hospital setting. Thinking through your response on a mannequin several times makes it less scary when a real person is involved. 

Let's look at several of these factors.

Your age. Typically the ends of the spectrum are more susceptible to illness. The very old and young for instance. This is why we are super cautious in pediatrics during an infant's first 30 days of life. A very low temp (anything 100.4 or greater) is concerning and will likely buy the infant a septic work-up. You can read a post I did about newborn septic work-ups here and why babies in their first two months of life should be sheltered in-- particularly in the winter.

Where you live. People living more close together have the opportunity to spread disease more easily. This is why when school season starts we see an increase in illness-- things like strep throat and meningitis. Because you're lumping 20-30 (or more) kids in a classroom. Close contact=ease of transmission.

Your general state of health: Obviously, someone who has a healthy immune system and good general health will be able to fight off infection more easily.

Your occupation: When I first started working in pediatrics they warned me about the "Children's Crud." It's not unusual for healthcare workers (those working taking care of people with infectious disease) to get sick a lot in their first couple of months. Suddenly, their immune system is exposed to LOTS of new bugs it hasn't seen before. Now, I don't get sick very often because my immune system has been primed for several different types of pathogens. However, my husband came down with a very common pediatric infectious illness from one of our daughters. "Why didn't you get sick?" he asked. It's simple-- my immune system has seen this bug literally hundreds of times and it laughs it off now.

When I first took the Zombie Survival quiz-- I answered fairly honestly with my current state of health. My chances of surviving a zombie apocalypse was 78.8%. 

When I took it a second time-- making my health and survival knowledge much worse my score was 35.7%

How about you? How well is your body at fighting off infection? How well do you think you'd survive a Zombie Apocalypse?

If you take the quiz and post your score-- there will be a chance to win one copy of either Proof or Poison-- your choice. Winner announced Monday, July 29th! Must live in the USA.


  1. Fun quiz. I was honest even though I didn't want to be on some of the questions... like "I could use a little work." for my physical condition because I really should work out and build up some strength...sigh.

    My results:

    You scored 67.6%.

    Not bad! You ranked somewhere in the middle. You could do worse, but then again you could do better. Now might be a good time to buy a machete and stock up on canned foods...

  2. I got 70.8% I guess thats good! - Janae Schiele

  3. I only got 58.6%. Not bad, but could have been better. I really don't like to think of zombies....
    Enjoyed reading your blog on Pathogens. Very informative and interesting!

  4. I only got a 62.7! I thought for sure when I took a chainsaw to those zombies I'd get at least and 80%. I'm going to have to practice a bit more.:) Great fun, Jordyn.

  5. Hehe, funny post!

    My score was 60.4%. Which is surprising. I was expecting waaaay lower. I'm kinda what you call a girly-girl. I would so die! Haha.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win! :)

  6. I don't think I would survive.My score was 48.4%.

    Thank you for the chance to win 1 of your books!

    Katie N.

  7. Thanks for playing everyone!! Katie-- I don't know if I'll be hanging at your house during the zombie apocalypse. Might be more apt to stay with Janae or Crystal!!

  8. I scored 83.9%. I still don't think that's comforting. That means I have a 16.1% chance of being zombiefied!

  9. Audrey--

    That cracked me up-- you think like me! I'm with you-- I would have liked to have gotten 100% chance of survival but it looks like you will fair pretty well.

  10. well I took the test but im sure you dont want me on your team lol, i scored 49.9%

  11. lol, so funny! 77.2% chance. Probably because I can run.

  12. geez....74.8%
    doesn't look very good on paper.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  13. Such great fun!! I might be willing to hang with you people who scored at least 65% or better but you that are the under that--- man, I don't know--- might have to let the zombies get you!!

  14. 79.8% A medical background and being ruthless overcame my pathetic lack of firearms.