I don't know much about zombies and haven't had much interest in them. I do know that, as with any creature, there are many different versions of what does and does not work. But I'm wondering about this in general - if it's addressed anywhere in traditional zombie lore, of if it's addressed in any specific zombie mythos.

I know the obvious: If a zombie bites you, or kills you, you'll die and your body becomes a zombie.

But what happens if you bit a zombie? Is zombism generally considered spread through saliva? Or would one get it from other bodily fluids? Is there any indication in zombie lore or in any zombie mythos where this would lead to one becoming a zombie?

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    You would probably contract very bad breath regardless of any other outcomes. – Xantec Apr 10 '12 at 19:53
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    Which universe? – OghmaOsiris Apr 10 '12 at 19:56
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    It totally depends on the universe, in 28days later any bit of infected blood getting into your mouth or eyes or bloodstream turns you into a zombie, so any biting of a Zombie would turn you into one! – AidanO Oct 23 '12 at 8:11
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    You would have a very confused zombie, but then he'd be happy because his food didn't run for once! – Jeff Oct 23 '12 at 10:29
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    Zombie turns around and punches you in the face. – PopularIsn'tRight Sep 21 '14 at 13:49

Max Brooks' wonderful The Zombie Survival Guide indicates that the flesh of zombies is deadly toxic, but zombie fluids in general causes infection through contact with open wounds (emphasis mine):

A zombie bite, although by far the most recognizable means of transference, is by no means the only one. Humans have been infected by brushing their open wounds against those of a zombie or by being splattered by its remains after an explosion. Ingestion of infected flesh (provided the person has no open mouth sores), however, results in permanent death rather than infection. Infected flesh has proven to be highly toxic.


I would think biting a zombie would pretty much be like biting a person infected with full blown aids, it will not end well for you. If there is an exchange of bodily fluids with the zombie, chances are you will die from the deadly virus and become a zombie.


In Eric Powell's comic series The Goon there is a character called the Buzzard that is essentially a reverse zombie. He is a living man with an insatiable craving for undead flesh. While he did not acquire this condition originally from biting a zombie, it is a unique perspective on the zombie mythos.

the Buzzard

  • I take it that he doesn't get infected, but does it make him sick at all? Your answer doesn't really address the question of what happens to the living human. – phantom42 Oct 23 '12 at 13:39
  • Actually he gets sick if he DOESN'T eat zombies – Monty129 Oct 23 '12 at 16:20

If you bite a zombie, I would assume that said zombie would turn back into a living person. Maybe like that Buzzard guy they would have an insatiable appetite for undead flesh. Then we have a level playing field and zombie war can ensue.

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    This doesn't make sense to me, the whole point of being a zombie is that you're dead. – BitNinja Sep 28 '14 at 22:19

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