On the season 4 premiere of “The Walking Dead,” newcomer Patrick (Vincent Martella) suddenly got sick and died, turning into a walker. But fans have been wondering ever since what exactly he died of. There have been theories of illness such as Ebola, something in the vegetables Rick was growing or something to do with the water. On Oct. 18, Hollywood Take reported that Robert Kirkman has revealed what Patrick died of and it’s quite a lot simpler than the theories fans are coming up with.
The flu. Actually, Robert Kirkman says it’s just some version of the Spanish Flu. But this virus is much more dangerous than the influenza modern day America is used to. Flu.gov states that there have been 4 flu pandemics since 1918, each with different characteristics. One of those pandemics is what is known as the Spanish Flu. From 1918 to 1919, an estimated 50 million people worldwide died from the Spanish flu with 675,000 of those being in the United States. Sometimes people with the Spanish flu felt perfectly fine in the morning, just like Patrick did in the season 4 premiere, but then they were dead by nightfall. This would certainly explain why Patrick died so quickly. However, most people didn’t die from the illness itself, but from complications from the bacteria, such as pneumonia. An unusual fact about the Spanish flu is that the highest mortality rates were among healthy adults between 20 and 50 years of age, but the scientific and medical community has not been able to explain why.
With the zombie world, there are limited medical supplies, if any are left at all. It would be rare to come across antibiotics or other life-saving medicine. As much as “The Walking Dead” prison community is trying to keep things sanitary, they are not living in the most sterile condition. Scott Gimple compares it to a third-world situation.
Gimple also talks about the walkers and says that if you have a zombie that died from that particular illness and while you are killing them their blood sprays all over you, then you are at risk for contracting that same illness that killed them. The prison residents kill walkers by stabbing them in the heads through the fence so any one of them could get the illness next.
Since the virus is airborne, everyone is at risk of getting it and something like that is very contagious. It is probably the reason why photographs of Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) show him wearing a bandana over his mouth and nose.
Now the question remains if this version of the Spanish Flu transmits from animals to humans. There are other illness in the world that do or that can mutate so it can cross species. With the prison pig, Violet, dead and the boar in the woods that was laying out there dying, it certainly seems like the they are connected.
What do you think? Is this version of the Spanish Flu crossing between species so it infects both humans and animals? Who do you think will die of this virus in season 4 of “The Walking Dead?”