The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) denies that there is any existence of zombies, despite public speculation stemming from various cases of cannibalism this week.
Last Saturday, a Miami man was shot dead by police after he was seen naked, growling and consuming the flesh of a homeless man's face. On Sunday, a man in New Jersey reportedly stabbed himself 50 times before throwing his flesh and intestines at police officers. On Tuesday, a Maryland man told authorities that he had eaten the heart and brain of his roommates.
While many have been speculating about the events, "Zombie Apocalypse" became a trending term on search engines this week. Still, the CDC denies that zombies exist.
A zombie, by defition in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: "A person held to resemble the so-called walking dead."
When reports surfaced that many of the assailants involved in the recent crimes had consumed human flesh, news outlets began to refer to them as zombies.
"The CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms)," CDC spokesman David Daigle told The Huffington Post.
However, Gawker reported about a "mysterious rash" in a Hollywood, Fla., school earlier this month along with an unknown chemical that sent five people to the hospital at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. While the HazMat investigation crew was unable to provide conclusive data concerning the two incidents, some believed they were related to zombie activity.
However, Daigle said there are many factors that could cause a "Zombie Apocalypse" outside of exposure to chemicals and viruses.
"Films have included radiation as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prions, mad-cow disease, measles, and rabies," the CDC spokesman said.
While authorities have stated that 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, known as the "Miami Zombie," may have eaten the flesh of a homeless man's face after ingesting a cocktail of drugs called "bath salt," his friends do not believe this could have been possible.
"It had to be some sort of drug that somebody must have slipped on him, because Rudy wouldn't so much as pop a Tylenol pill," Eugene's friend Bobby Chery told CBS.
The results of toxicology tests have yet to be determined in the cases of the men engaging in zombie-like behavior. Although the CDC has not acknowledged that any of the cases involved actual zombies, the agency still has available a zombie preparedness section on its website that features books and kits.
The section was launched earlier this year as part of a campaign to educate the public about preparedness for certain hazards.
"If you are generally well equipped to deal with a 'zombie apocalypse' you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack," CDC director director Dr. Ali Khan said in a statement on the website.