In the event of a global zombie apocalypse, the survival of the human race may depend on the simple task of identifying the type of outbreak. Despite everything Hollywood wants you to believe, a shot to the head won’t always get it done, and the methods of protection of humans and destruction of walkers differ based on the disease present.
There are three basic types of zombies: bacterial, bacterial but antibiotic resistant, and viral.
In the case of bacterial zombies, antibiotic darts might be the solution. This type of infection is a simple, though destructive disease that simply modifies or shuts down certain functions in the brain. Using a big dose at first is recommended at first to ensure that they really will die. It’s possible that a certain dosage kills the bacteria but doesn’t kill the host, but the physical damage might be too severe to save victims who are far into the process.
Bacterial but antibiotic-resistant zombies are dangerous. Highly resistant bacteria can be nearly indestructible, and killing the host might not be enough if the bacteria can repair it. To stop zombies like that you must temporarily disable them by whatever means are available, capture them, lock them up securely and kill them with fire. Don’t do this when pursued because it takes a long time to kill them and in the meantime makes them more dangerous. Only burn undead if they are locked up and can’t light anything.
If the outbreak is viral, killing the host will do the trick. The virus will be able to duplicate for a while, but eventually the host cells will run out of energy and die. If that doesn’t work, the disease is probably bacterial. However, there could be exceptions….
The most genius type of disease, bacterial or viral, is the kind that allows the host to live and acquire energy so that the disease can use the energy to duplicate itself. This kind will reprogram the victim’s brain to give it the sole purpose of spreading the disease and acquiring energy to do so. Killing the victim may or may not be enough. This is the real Hollywood zombie by the original definition of the word, and when they show up humanity is in big trouble.