Anatomy of the Zombie Bite
Preventing Zombie Infection
The greatest threat in a zombie survival situation is being bitten. This bite will inevitably lead to your fate as a member of the undead. This is of course if you manage to pull away and do not die of blood loss first. You must do everything in your power to prevent the bite from happening, but if that is not possible, you must not allow the bite to reach your skin. This is accomplished through a combination of maneuverability, speed and finally protective gear.
The human jaw is extremely efficient and powerful even when compared to the animal kingdom. Our bite force is 150 – 180psi depending on many factors. We have the ability to break skin, tear flesh, and bite off the nose/ears of others. This will occur even through light clothing if you choose light weight over heavy armor.
The 32 teeth of humans are broken down into a few categories. In general, there are the crushing teeth (molars) and the cutting teeth (incisors). Because the incisors are the front teeth, these are likely to inflict the most damage and transmit saliva to the wound. When the saliva enters your wound, there is no hope for your survival.
Now, when you take the bite statistics from above and apply it to zombies, the danger increases. Zombies do not feel pain, they do not limit how hard they bite for fear of damaging their teeth. The pressure from a zombie bite can shatter small bones and tear flesh clean off. If the zombie has been animated for an extended period of time, it’s teeth may be jagged and even sharper than before.
Statistically, the most common bite wound occurs on the limbs. This is the case for several reasons. Most people have a natural reaction to cover their head/torso with their hands and forearms during an attack. This is a logical defense against any threat other than zombies. You must resist the urge to sacrifice your arm to protect your vital organs in this situation.
This does not only apply to the arms/hands. The legs are also extremely vulnerable to bite wounds. The most common reason for this is pretty logical. When you are fighting your way through zombies, your focus is straight ahead, hoping to get through. If you deliver a blow to the zombie that is not lethal, it will fall to the ground, not yet incapacitated. The zombie will then reach for the closest limb, being your legs.
These are just some of the dangers you will face while trying to survive during a zombie outbreak. However, there are ways of minimizing this threat. This can be done through a combination of protective gear and fighting techniques. In order for you to protect yourself, you must be informed.
Keep in mind… protection is always had at the cost of speed and manueverability. Choose your route wisely.
Police and Military have used gear to protect their limbs for decades. The threats come from knife wounds, dirty needles and broken glass. The way they have learned to minimize this threat is with Kevlar gloves and forearm protectors. These two items will protect your limbs from a cutting bite, but may still allow for crushing damage.
Because the second most common bite occurs on the lower legs, we must look to a different group of people to find the protection. These are people who work in snake infested areas or directly with snakes. These people wear specially designed boots that use a variety of materials to stop the fangs of a venomous snake. Should you have the money to purchase these, it is advised.
Here is the scenario: A zombie is closing on you, reaching out to pull you towards its mouth. You do not have the correct protective gear to stop this from happening. It’s time to make your move…
First, do not back peddle, you only risk tripping and sealing your fate. This also is not the fastest way to distance yourself.
What you must do is act quickly. A simple sidestep will throw the zombie off while approaching. Before the zombie can react to this, you must make your move, fight or flight. This is situational dependent, there is no one correct choice. The best way to think of this fight is with the mindset of a matador in an arena with a charging bull.
FIGHT! Now that the zombie has missed his chance to grab you, it is time to strike. Because the zombie is facing profile to you, swing your weapon with deadly accuracy. Smash the skull before it can turn to face you once again. If you fail in this strike, again maneuver away from a head on attack. Strike again and make this one count. If there are other zombies in close proximity, they may have reached you by now.
FLIGHT! Again, the zombie has missed his chance. Maybe there are more undead in close proximity, maybe you do not have a weapon. These are scenarios where one more dead zombie is not worth the risk. Take this opportunity to distance yourself and continue on your way.