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The Virus has taken over the entire world/country/town. Almost always, there is a patient zero. This is the person that started it all. He/she carried the virus without knowing or was a Zombie Infectee. He/she can be the virus. He/she can also be the one who created the virus.

Sometimes, you have to kill patient zero to stop the virus before it spreads any quicker.

Examples of Patient Zero include:


  • In the film Zombieland, Patient Zero is said to have been a person who ate a bad hamburger
  • In Contagion, Patient Zero is Beth Emhoff although technically the true Patient Zero is the chef that handled the infected pig shown as shown in a flashback at the end of the movie.
  • In Outbreak, Patient Zero is a monkey.


  • In the Sanctuary episode "Pavor Nocturnus", Magnus is the first carrier of the virus that turned almost everyone into cannabalistic monsters.

  Helen: I was patient zero.


  • World War Z has the Patient Zero of the zombie pandemic being a boy in China.
    • Technically the boy was bitten by an existing Zombie, whose age and origin is unknown. THAT is patient Zero. The boy is the first infected.
      • It's never clarified that the boy was bitten by a zombie, just that he was swimming and cut his foot on something. What it was is unknown.
        • It bit off his toe. Probably a zombie. In any case, the boy is referred to as "Patient Zero".
  • Patient Zero of the Blue Pox in Circle of Magic: Briar's Book was a stupid mage who became infected after improperly disposing of a failed weight loss potion. She was discovered dead in her study.

Video Games

  • The reanimated corpse of Doctor Alex Mercer, a.k.a. Blacklight, protagonist of Prototype. Elizabeth Greene is also one, carrying her own Redlight virus.
  • Rika Furude of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
  • Melissa Pearce in Parasite Eve. Late in the normal game you find out that Aya's dead sister was actually the original, true Eve. The original appears in the optional dungeon as the True Final Boss.
  • The appropriately named Zero of Mega Man X.
  • The final chapter in Trauma Team. It's even called Patient Zero. It involves finding the girl whose blood originally carried both Rosalia and its antibody.
  • In the Old World Blues DLC of Fallout: New Vegas, Patient Zero is the first person to be infected by the spore virus that is seen in Vault 22 in the main game.


Western Animation

  • In an episode of South Park, called "Pink Eye", Kenny becomes a zombie and causes an undead outbreak. He gets killed, and the originally undead return to alive.
    • The boys are actually told to kill the original zombie, and not just kill random zombies. This news comes a little too late, as they had already killed half the town by this point.
  • An episode of Codename: Kids Next Door had a little girl named "Patient C" play this. She was apparently supposed to be infected with cooties, with the (entirely male) science staff using Numbah Four as justification for her being infected. Numbah Four had extremely large, swollen lips after eating coconut logs even though he was violently allergic.
  • Cinnamon Bun of Adventure Time becomes Patient Zero during the Episode "From Bad To Worse". Why? Because he ate a piece of zombie flesh. Did we mention Cinnamon Bun is a complete moron?


  • Quite a few stories in which someone is turned into a vampire involve killing the vampire that bit them, or in some rare cases, the head vampire.
  • In the Zombies, Run! app, Patient Zero is Patient 29 of 50 patients who received an injection that was supposed to make cells regenerate faster.

Real Life

  • Typhoid Mary, who caused many outbreaks of Typhoid.
  • Although there is plenty of evidence that he wasn't technically Patient Zero, Gaetan Dugas is traditionally known as the "Patient Zero" of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, at least in the western world.


  1. The related anti-Nomura effect Ryu suffered from was a curse rather than a contagious disease, and the ponifying effect that Walter suffers from was a poison, so while both are the first known patients, their respective syndromes won't spread.
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