Following several discussions about how and why zombies eat living human flesh, reader Laura Unser asked if there are any other examples of animals seeking out live tissue for their meals. We find the answer in the dining habits of a close cousin of the common house fly.
Screw worms are parasitic maggots that eat only the living flesh of warm-blooded animals. While other species of maggots feed on dead flesh, like a rotting piece of meat or an old, putrefied wound, screw worms attack healthy tissue. The larvae hatch and burrow deep into the tissue as they feed, making them capable of causing severe tissue damage or even death.
If not quickly treated, a screw worm attack will leave the host mortally wounded in a matter of days, and as the maggots become flies, dozens of additional victims are quickly needed to support the growing population. The exponential model of a screw worm outbreak is disturbingly similar to projections of a potential zombie sickness.
For an example of successful treatment in humans, the Ophthalmology Department of the University of Malaysia offers a graphic case study of a screw worm infestation in a 9 year old boy from that country HERE.