Plague-bearing zombies are becoming increasingly common in modern zombie-horror. Created by TheVirus or TheAssimilator, these are the zombies that are guaranteed to turn others into zombies due to their highly communicable virus or nanobots or whatever. Almost always merged with FleshEatingZombie. Often {{Technically Living Zombie}}s.

ParasiteZombie is a subtrope.




* A Toshiba commercial has a zombie plague started by a carton of milk that was spoiled as a result of power outage caused by a power-station worker dropping a non-impact-proof laptop in a Toshiba exec's IndulgentFantasySegue about what could happen if they ''didn't'' make impact-proof laptops.
** Taken [[UpToEleven Up To Eleven]] with a series of shorts titled ''Toshiba Zombies''.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/HighSchoolOfTheDead'', combined with FleshEatingZombie.
* ''Manga/ApocalypseNoToride'''s zombies combined with FleshEatingZombie. The zombies also appear to be controlled by some kind of "hive leader," but it has yet to be explained.
* In ''Manga/{{Arachnid}}'', the [[InsectQueen Army Ant queen-themed]] main villainess uses her bodily fluids to turn people into zombified servants who wander around mindlessly raping people to spread the effect. [[spoiler:Her death seemed to cause the infected to become aimless, but they somehow still managed to take over Japan over the course of the ending.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Crossed}}''. The zombies get a cross-shaped cluster of boils on their faces, but otherwise, look like normal people. They are sociopathic, sadomasochistic, and violent in the extreme.

* ''Film/{{REC}}'' and its [[CulturalTranslation US Remake]] ''Film/{{Quarantine}}'' appear to be this [[spoiler:but may be ParasiteZombie due to implicit DemonicPossession]].
* In Creator/DavidCronenberg's ''Film/{{Rabid}}'', possibly the first "fast zombie" movie, the disease is initially spread sexually.
* In ''Film/IDrinkYourBlood'', rabid hippies terrorize the countryside.
* ''Film/HellOfTheLivingDead'' (aka ''Virus''), in which a zombification virus escapes from a facility [[spoiler:...which was engineered by the First World nations so Third World people would get infected and ''eat each other.'']]
* The rage virus in ''Film/TwentyEightDaysLater'' is one of the more famous examples.
* Explicitly mocked at the end of ''Film/ShaunOfTheDead'', where a news report is just about to tell us the cause of the zombie outbreak... only to flip to another channel before we're told what it was.
* The "necroambulist virus" in ''Maggie'' - It's never specified what the source is, but it is portrayed as a communicable virus. The process is more gradual than most depictions though: it's stated it takes six to eight weeks for the infected to become cannibalistic.

* ''Literature/ZombiesVsUnicorns'' stories "Inoculata", "Bouganvillea," and "Prom Night" all deal with the aftermath of a zombie plague (all are also flesh-eating)
* The book ''Literature/TheForestOfHandsAndTeeth'' is like this, with a little of flesh-eating in there. The zombies (called Unconsecrated) eat people, and once you are infected, you only have a few hours or maybe even minutes before you turn into an Unconsecrated. They can only be truly killed if you cut their head off.
* The web-novel ''Literature/{{Domina}}'''s "screamers" are...complicated. They seem to be mindless, and any of their body fluids will turn others into screamers, but only while the screamer is alive. On that note, they are not undead, and are quite fast and athletic. They also scream constantly (hence the name). Oh, and they also have superpowers.
* The zombies of the ''Literature/{{Newsflesh}}'' trilogy by Mira Grant, the result of [[HarmfulHealing an airborne virus cure for the common cold meeting a phage meant to cure cancer]], [[GoneHorriblyRight which worked btw, no one on Earth has either any more]]. Unfortunately now everyone also has the virus in them. They have a form of collective intelligence, the more there are in a group, the smarter the individuals become. A group of twenty or more is smart enough to exploit terrain and set traps and ambushes while one by itself is easy to deal with, especially the older it is. Oddly enough they're not flesh eating because they're compelled to spread the active virus and killing you won't do that.
* A ''very'' different version in Creator/NancyKress's novel ''Dogs'': the plague only affects dogs, although it turns them aggressive, and they'll attack anyone or anything.
* The stone men in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' are those afflicted with greyscale in their adulthood (and as an illness, [[TechnicallyLivingZombie they're not really dead]]). It's a very slow process that ultimately kills the victim; toward the end, they're described as slow, clumsy, and completely mad. And unlike the other types that appear in the series, this one is ''highly'' contagious.
* In ''[[Literature/TheMazeRunner The Maze Runner Trilogy]]'', those who contract [[MindVirus the]] [[HatePlague Flare]] eventually turn into insane, animalistic virus carriers called [[NotUsingTheZWord Cranks]] that donít have many distinguishing traits from regular old zombies.
* Max Brooks uses these zombies in ''Literature/TheZombieSurvivalGuide'', ''Literature/WorldWarZ'', and ''Literature/TheExtinctionParade''. According to the "rules" given by ''The Zombie Survival Guide'', a fictional virus called Solanum turns people into zombies, with an incubation period of roughly 24 hours, give or take, between initial infection and reanimation.
* The creatures in Tim Lebbon's ''Literature/{{Berserk}}'' ([[NamesTheSame has nothing to do with a certain anime]]) are zombies created by a bioweapon cooked up by the Brittish government. The infected become {{Perpetual Motion Monster}}s, and can only be killed by headshot, (and that's only if you use a SilverBullet). That said, they're very smart, and telepathic to boot.
* In ''Literature/AlongTheWindingRoad'', the zombie plague seems to be transferred by blood contact, which is a risk when a zombie with bleeding gums bites you. There's also the "immunity jerky," though it wasn't precisely found by rigorous scientific testing.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The [[Recap/CommunityS2E06Epidemiology zombie episode]] of ''Series/{{Community}}''. The zombies are caused by the biohazard material that Dean Pelton bought from an army surplus store, thinking it was taco meat, and served at the Halloween party. The virus is passed on through biting, and [[spoiler:treating the main symptom, a ridiculously high fever, by cranking up the air conditioning reverses the zombification long enough for the Army to show up and cure everyone]]. And not only is this a comedy, it's ''{{canon}}''.
* The "Gas-mask Zombies" from the ''Series/DoctorWho'' two-parter "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances" initially transmitted their plague by touch, until the nanogenes responsible for their condition grew airborne. Since the zombies had identical injuries(due to the nanogenes' faulty understanding of human biology) Doctor Constantine described their condition as "physical injuries as plague".
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Stone men are technically living zombies inflicted with greyscale who attack people and spread their disease.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has the Croatoan virus, a demonic virus that turned humans into ''Film/TwentyEightDaysLater''-type zombies, and was [[spoiler: especially created by [[HorsemenOfTheApocalypse Pestilence]] to wipe out most of humanity as part of [[{{Satan}} Lucifer's]] apocalypse]].
* In one of the worlds visited in ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' a fat-eating bacterium designed as a weight-loss product had the unintended side-effect of making users into mindless flesh-eating monsters. There was an "antidote" that in large quantities could keep the infected lucid, and the bacterium's creator was using. [[spoiler: The Sliders help him create a cure using blood from one of TheImmune survivors, just in time to help Quinn.]]
* Zig-zagged on ''Series/TheWalkingDead''. Unlike in [[ComicBook/TheWalkingDead the comic book]] (which follows the Romero infection rules[[note]]Everybody who dies comes back as a zombie unless they died of severe head trauma. The exact cause is never given, though several explanations -- a radioactive space probe, Hell being full -- are offered by various characters.[[/note]]), the season 1 finale establishes that a virus caused the ZombieApocalypse. However, it didn't behave like most zombie viruses -- it is (presumably) airborne and/or waterborne, and has infected everybody on Earth, kicking in only after they die. This allows the show to still use the Romero trope of ''everybody'' coming back when they die, not just those who are bitten, while still using a zombie virus.
* In Creator/DerrenBrown's ''Series/{{Apocalypse}}'' special, TheEveryman Steven is led to believe that the world (or, at least, England) is in the middle of a ZombieApocalypse, caused by a microorganism that has arrived in a meteorite. He hears a fake news broadcast warning people to avoid coming into contact with anyone with a red bracelet, which signifies that they're infected.

[[folder: Music]]
* The end of Music/{{Voltaire}}'s ''Zombie Prostitute'' has the narrator catching something from the undead hooker he slept with, and becoming a zombie gigolo.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Gotha parallels from ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} Infinite Worlds'' are 19 alternate Earths that have been destroyed by the exact same zombie virus. These Gotha zombies retain some of their intelligence and are as willing to eat each other as well as normal humans.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', with elements of VoodooZombie; the zombies themselves aren't created by magic, but the virus itself is (they're the work of Nurgle, God of Decay).
* The "Plaguespreader Zombie" monster card in the ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' card game. Although its function isn't to spread a zombie virus, but rather "tune" with other monsters to summon powerful Synchro monsters, including zombies.
* The common zombie from ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' are just reanimated corpse by magic and doesn't transmit their zombification. However, [[ Living Deads]] are the ones that resemble Romero zombies. Appearance wise, they are indistinguishable from common zombies. However, they transfer the dormant form of Living Death plague by every attack, which reanimates you should you die from any method into another Living Dead. The plague needs to be cured by ''Remove Disease'' spell, mere ''Resurrection'' will not suffice.
** Ghouls carry a disease called "ghoul fever", which turns anyone it kills into a ghoul. Fortunately the Fort DC is pretty low.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' has an actual "Plague Zombie" that can be created with the ''Animate Dead'' spell, as long as the ''Contagion'' spell is cast as part of the animation process. They carry a disease known as "zombie rot", and can inflict it through either their attacks or by exploding when they die. Creatures who die while infected with zombie rot will rise as plague zombies themselves soon after.
* Viral Deathspawn from ''[[TabletopGame/D20Modern D20 Apocalypse]]'',which is not surprising since this sourcebook deals with life AfterTheEnd.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Most of the zombies in ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' are caused by the Umbrella Corporation's T-virus and its various derivatives.
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' and ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2''. The "zombies" in this series [[TechnicallyLivingZombie aren't actually dead]] (it's more akin to a strand of rabies) and don't actually eat the uninfected; they just want to rip their bodies to shreds and stomp on the remains.
** Getting shot anywhere on the body affects them pretty much as it would anything else living, though. If left on their own, they will just die from the virus, as seen from the zombies spending their free time holding their heads in pain and vomiting up their organs.
* ''[[ Super Energy Apocolypse]]'' features plague-bearing eyeball monsters that are apparently called "Zombies."
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', victims of the Corprus Disease are this trope crossed with being {{Technically Living Zombie}}s. Corprus is a divine disease created by [[BigBad Dagoth]] [[PhysicalGod Ur]] using power channeled from the [[CosmicKeystone Heart of Lorkhan]], the still-beating heart of the [[GodIsDead "dead" creator god]]. It is an incurable disease which causes massively accelerated cell growth, leading to increases in strength and endurance, as well as making sufferers TheAgeless and granting them IdealIllnessImmunity. However, it also destroys their minds until they are little better than feral monsters. Unlike zombies in most other media, Corprus sufferers will feed on each other when no other food is available. The aforementioned cell growth gives them a form of HealingFactor, however, causing the eaten-off parts to ''grow back stronger''. In some cases they even defy physics, surviving by [[{{Autocannibalism}} eating their own flesh]].
* ''VideoGame/EliteBeatAgents'' features a mission where the titular agents must support a VideoGame/DukeNukem ripoff in his quest to purge the world of purple, yellow-dotted, giggling zombies. Zombies that happen to spread their disease through kisses, and can be returned to normal by letting them ingest a very bad-tasting peanut. Yeah, that's ''VideoGame/EliteBeatAgents'' for you.
* Ghouls in ''Franchise/DragonAge'' are people and animals who have been corrupted by the Blight and haven't died from it yet. They retain their sanity for a time, but eventually start resembling Romero zombies and attack anything in sight other than Darkspawn. Darkspawn often use them as craftsmen and food.
* ''VideoGame/SurvivorTheLivingDead'' uses these and you are very much not immune. When you get bitten, you get infected. After that happens, all you can do to avoid turning before the timer runs out is stand still as much as possible and not get bitten again.
* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' introduced [[DemonicSpiders husks]], which are horrifying undead abominations covered in dust that transforms anything touched by it into another husk. Hands-down, these are ''the'' most horrifying monster in DF, even trumping [[spoiler:TheLegionsOfHell]] for sheer terror.
* ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}}'' have two viruses (one an evolved form of the other). The virus first causes blood vomiting, then leads to boils and pustules that make the infected look like mutants, before often making their arms and fingers become claws. All forms are violent and lash out at everything, and seem to operate on a hive mind. Alex Mercer, Elizabeth Greene, and James Heller (along with the evolved) aside, everyone hit by the virus becomes this with the viral creatures (Hunters, Brawlers, etc) created other ways. Technically the first three are also infected entities, but share none of the zombie like traits and are more like super villains.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Tron 20}}'' and ''VideoGame/TronEvolution'', virus-infected Programs behave like this. They become twisted, mindless ''things'' whose only purpose and directive is to infect and destroy as many healthy Programs as possible. And in both cases, the plaguemaster/Patient Zero was merely an UnwittingPawn of much nastier conspirators using the threat of a {{cyberspace}}-wide ZombieApocalypse to hide something much worse.
* The zombies in ''VideoGame/DeadIsland'' are a result of an abnormal version of the Kuru prion illness.
* Subverted throughout the ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' series, where numerous people in the backstory ''thought'' the [[ResurrectiveImmortality Undead Curse]] was spread like a disease and tried to quarantine its victims, but were doomed to failure because that's not how the curse is spread. [[spoiler:It seems more likely all people are ''born'' with the curse but are asymptotic until the First Flame starts to fade.]]
* Zombies in ''VideoGame/DyingLight'' are victims of a mutated strand of rabies called the Harran Virus. [[spoiler: This disease is later revealed to be a Synthetic Plague, with the GRE attempting to cover up its origins and the Harran Ministry of Defense willing to help them by destroying the infected districts]].
* ''VideoGame/UnchartedDrakesFortune'': Near the end of the game, [[spoiler: Nathan runs into the Descendants, ferocious ghoul-like monsters that are the remains of Spanish ''conquistadores'', and later soldiers and scientists from Nazi Germany, who fell victim to a contagion contained within the treasure of El Dorado.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' features the Infested, victims of a horrific virus that [[BodyHorror twists the bodies of its hosts into terrifying monstrosities]]. The individual organisms seem to be little more than mindless beasts, but observations suggest that there is some kind of HiveMind directing them. A few notable individuals have maintained their identities and personalities, but the virus has still managed to influence their thoughts. The Infestation's origins are murky, but it's implied that the Orokin created the plague as a bioweapon before deciding that it was too difficult to control; Alad V's experiments in the present have created a new strain capable of infecting machinery.
* ''VideoGame/MetalSlug 3'' has the zombies encountered in the second mission, caused by a virus spread around by the area's boss. Their ZombiePukeAttack could [[ZombifyTheLiving zombify injured civilians]] (turning them into zombie enemies) and even the player too, although an infected player still retains sentience, gains a [[BloodyMurder devastating blood vomit attack]], and can be restored to human if they touch a medkit. The zombie virus once again appears in ''Metal Slug 4'', this time the virus being taken and used by the Amadeus Syndicate to infect an amusement park.

* In ''Webcomic/TheWard'', zombification occurs due to a supernatural disease.
* ''Last Blood'' plays along with this trope. The world has experienced ZombieApocalypse and the majority of zombies are near mindless, hungry creatures, while the first zombie [[spoiler:was a vampire who starved for too long]]. The first zombie has retained all of his intelligence, and has complete control over the zombies that descended from him.
* ''Webcomic/TheOtherGreyMeat'' has zombification via infection. Zombies become more intelligent based on the number of victims they have, as well as the victims of their victims (and so on). PatientZero has turned back into a normal person because of this, and he's smart enough to have come up with a substance that sates a zombie's hunger without making them evolve further.
* In ''Webcomic/ZombieRanch'' the formerly human herds possess a bite that is infectious, incurable, and fatal. Their blood, on the other hand, is not only harmless but miraculously beneficial when processed correctly. [[spoiler: It can even cure cancer.]]
* In ''Webcomic/GenocideMan'' one of the bioengineered plagues that devastated the world in the 21st century filled China with zombies. Jacob later reveals that they're a failed SuperSoldier project, and while they have no memories of their past lives they are fairly intelligent, with their own language and agriculture, [[ they even breed true.]]
* In ''WebComic/StandStillStaySilent'', Trolls ([[WasOnceAMan former humans]]), beasts ([[RaisingTheSteaks former animals]]) and [[BodyOfBodies giants]] are all technically this, being victims of the Rash that didn't die and disease vectors for it. In practice, their bodies are so mutated that they qualify for various other monster tropes.

[[folder:Web Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Infectonator}}'': Zombies work by spreading a virus among people: Those who are infected become zombies and start spreading their plague around.