In what has to be one of the stranger stories on research I've seen, a doctor with a question mark at the end of his name released a study about what the best tactics would be for a society to emerge relatively unscathed from a zombie attack.
He said pretty much wipe them out, as quickly as possible. There's some contention, but given that this is based on the old style zombie, the shambling, stupid, slow kind, it's interesting to note that even those slow guys could still kick our collective asses if we weren't stern with them.
There are parallels to other infectious disease vectors, but only to a point. Still, the geek in my got a smile out of this, even if I think they're wasting humanity's time-- insofar as we haven't had a zombie outbreak yet :)
Finder's credit (also wasting humanity's time, yet renewing my faith in humanity's cheekiness simultaneously):
Interested in natural examples of zombies?
Here's a list of animals controlled by other creatures, and below is a video talking about a particularly potent type of infection particular to humans:
What's funny to me is that a lot of assumptions about zombies differ depending upon who you talk to. Like any mythology, some ideas or presentations resonate with people more than others. For the longest time I thought all zombies were brain eaters, but I realized the eating of brains was more something from Return of the Living Dead, rather than the famous Living Dead series by George Romero. Romero's zombies were rarely the focus of his movies; they were more the particular disaster that affected the characters. The bigger conflict was between the survivors.