This is the official infection timeline up to [day 001] rewritten verbatim
[day 001][minus 008]
The first human is infected with the virus. Its origin is unknown at this stage, but primitive laboratory conditions are now available for research into the many samples collected since [day 001]. This initial subject is believed to have been located in a nursing home for the elderly somewhere in the north-east of England.
[day 001][minus 006]
The initial feverish symptoms soon give way to violent fits and trance-like states. It is estimated that within the first forty-eight hours a further eight to twelve people were infected. Clinical death follows after three to seven days of severe ill-health, increasing the apparent care needed and therefore the amount of contact time the infected had with the healthy.
[day 001][minus 004]
The virus has spread to between two- and four-hundred people, probably exclusively associated with the medical profession as either carers or convalescents. The carers would be visiting different locations throughout the timescale which would almost all be heavily populated, such as health centres or hospitals. The convalescents would be requiring bedside attention, increasing the risk of infection through bites. It is thought the first infected to travel out of the country may have done so around this time.
[day 001][minus 003]
The number of infected probably reached fifty thousand at around this stage. Whilst most infected take a week to reach the point of zombification, some are known to take much less time. These first zombies may not have been the first to be exposed to the virus, but they almost certainly accelerated the infection rate due to their relentless drive for fuel and the reluctance of pre-[day 001] citizens to destroy what appeared to be a human being in need of care.
[day 001][minus 002]
As more people become infected and more infected become zombies, the UK’s National Health Service begins to fail. Relatives begin to take over the care of those infected and the virus spreads along much more random and unpredictable paths. The number of infected is estimated at a quarter of a million. A total of three deaths have been attributed to an unkown virus over the timescale.
[day 001][minus 001]
By the end of this day the number of official deaths attributed to an unknown virus which are shown on complete records retrieved stands at thirteen. The Prime Minister is made aware of the situation. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is informed.
The exponential spread of the virus affects enough parts of the UK’s workforce and core elements of society to render the country’s infrastructure redundant by the end of [day 001]. Automated treatment plants and agricultural systems continue for several days, but any corner of industry requiring human input at any stage is severely affected. Public morale – already low – crumbles, and panic ensues. Civil unrest spreads, as do instances of opportunistic criminality. By the end of this day the number of infected stands at between eighteen and thirty million; the number of dead at around ten million; and the number of undead around the same.
Significant events since [day 001] are pending.