Does "the zombie virus" or any type of zombie virus exist? And if so, what would it be like ?

Somebody please inform me, with facts, if the zombie virus, or any type of zombie virus does or COULD exist. If so, could it start an apocalypse, per se?

The Toxoplasmosis protozoan is known to cause behavioral changes in some animal hosts (very specific ones, rather than general ones like rabies does,) and is thought to effect behavioral changes in humans, too. So one that causes specific acts of aggression in humans cannot be ruled out as of now, IMO, although of course none are known to be existent right now. Whether it would lead to an apocalypse, probably not, very few infections combine the virulence and lag time needed to spread throughout the world.

Yes. NGC or Animal Planet had a special on these recently. Here’s a couple:

Zombie Ants:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie_ants

Zombie Snails:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie_snails

So, to answer your question: real life zombies are far less interesting than the Hollywood ones, and probably wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic or cause an apocalypse. The reason is that once the bodies die, they are basically useless because of the enzymes that break down tissue into goo.

Missed window: “real” zombie viruses would probably trick you into acting a certain way (i.e. mosquito bites being itchy forcing you to scratch it) rather than bringing you back from the dead with an appetite for brains.

Well, rabies basically propagates itself by making its hosts slowly lose their sanity and bite new victims, which has always seemed at least superficially similar to me. Some kind of quicker-acting* rabies variant could reasonably cause a zombie outbreak.

It depends a little on what you mean by “zombie virus”- some zombie fiction has zombies where are no longer really alive- they don’t require oxygen, food, or an intact body to survive. Other zombie fiction has zombies which are still biologically alive, but driven insane by the virus. The former is pretty implausible, while the latter is a lot less silly from a science standpoint.

*Maybe a day or two, rather than rabies’ real-life incubation period which can last months. Rabies travels via the nervous system, while something blood-borne could spread much faster.

Yeah, its called the Marburg virus I think. Makes your eyes go bloodshot/very red and you become quite psychotic before you die.

Hunh no, Marburg is an hemorragic fever similar to Ebola.