Yes it's true! (Copied below cause I think it's behind a paywall now ) Zombies Upstage a Routine Public Health Bulletin nytimes dot com/2011/05/20/health/20cdc.html Pity poor Tom Skinner, a top spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has been valiantly trying to interest reporters in a new study in the agency?s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report trumpeting ?10 Great Public Health Achievements.? Unfortunately for Mr. Skinner, over at his agency?s public health blog, his colleagues were posting something that really got to the beating heart of morbidity and mortality: the first official C.D.C. instructions on coping with a zombie apocalypse. Yes, that?s right. With a straight face, the normally staid health agency had posted a primer on how to prepare for an invasion of the brain-eating undead. ?So what do you need to do before zombies ... or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen?? the post said. ?First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp.? The idea, said David Daigle, a C.D.C. spokesman whose portfolio includes disaster response, came up as they were discussing how to make the agency?s annual ?It?s Hurricane Season Again? press release a little sexier. ?One of the communicators mentioned that when we were tweeting about Japan and radiation releases, someone tweeted back asking us if it could set off a zombie attack,? Mr. Daigle said. He took the idea to the agency?s director of preparedness, Dr. Ali S. Khan, a specialist in infectious disease and a rear admiral in the Public Health Service. ?Most other directors would have thrown me out,? Mr. Daigle said. ?He said, ?Let?s form a Zombie Task Force.? ? The blog post went up on Monday. ?A typical post gets 1,000 hits,? Mr. Daigle said. ?We got 10,000, then 30,000 on Tuesday, and then it crashed the server.? They found more server space, and the hits kept coming in ? along with expert advice, he said. For example: Never mind the food and the shortwave radio, but what about a baseball bat and a chainsaw? (You can?t kill zombies by shooting them in their unbeating hearts ? you have to go for the head.) Dr. Khan said he was ?gratified by the response ? it?s nice to see that people understand that public health includes preparedness.? He would ?leave it to law enforcement? to give Americans advice on arming themselves. After all, zombies need care too. ?I?m a public health doctor,? he said. ?Even postmortem, I haven?t given up on you.? And how did he become such an expert? (He did mention on the blog that his favorite zombie movie was ?Resident Evil.?) ?Oh, I spent years working on ebola, Rift Valley fever, monkeypox, prion diseases,? he said. ?Some of them can affect your brain.? Meanwhile, the agency is living in fear of a different wave of flesh-eaters: Congressional budget cutters. With its budget under intense scrutiny, on Thursday it released the study Mr. Skinner was pushing, arguing that the agency?s efforts over the last decade had saved billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Two signal accomplishments were the introduction of a vaccine against Streptococcus pneumonia, which has prevented an estimated 211,000 serious infections and 13,000 deaths, and another against infant diarrhea, which prevents an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 hospitalizations each year. A law requiring more folic acid in breads, breakfast cereals, noodles and other products led to a 36 percent drop in the number of infants born with defects like spina bifida, saving $4.7 billion, the report said. ?Americans are living longer, healthier and more productive lives than ever before, thanks in part to extraordinary achievements in public health over the past decade,? Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the C.D.C. director, said in an unusually direct appeal for more financing. ?However, we can do much more.? The Obama administration has proposed no increase in the agency?s next budget. But that budget falls into the category of domestic discretionary spending, which is under broad assault by Republicans intent on slashing federal spending. The agency plans to cut spending on emergency preparedness after having spent heavily on pandemic flu and disaster planning. But the study focused on the fact that many preventable deaths come from mundane, well-known threats like infectious disease, smoking and automobile crashes. Cigarettes cause 443,000 deaths a year, and smoking among high school students declined sharply. It fell to 21.9 percent in 2003 from 36.4 percent in 1997, but then leveled off. It is now 19.5 percent, just below the incidence of smoking in adults at 20.6 percent. The decade also saw a sharp decrease in traffic deaths, mainly because of seat belts, child seats, safer cars and better roads. From 2000 to 2009, road deaths fell 26 percent, to 11 per 100,000 Americans from 14.9 per 100,000. Pedestrian deaths among children fell 49 percent, bicyclist deaths 58 percent. The decade also saw declines in deaths from heart disease and stroke because treatment and medications became better and fewer Americans smoked. Improved screening lowered the cancer death rate. Banning lead from gasoline and household paints, along with removing lead paint from public housing, cut poisoning of children. Did Mr. Skinner think anyone among the not-yet-undead would notice his agency?s signal accomplishments? ?I can?t compete with zombies,? he said. Those were the last words he said before the line went dead.