- The first isolated outbreaks happen in China. Chinese refugees begin pouring into other nations, even North Korea. South Africa has an outbreak of "African Rabies" that kills most of the population of Cape Town.
- Many more isolated incidents happen around the world.
The World after the end of the War
It is now 30 years after the Great Panic. Global geopolitics have radically changed.
The United States is a shadow of its former self. Now advocating strict armed neutrality, President Michael Powell (former President Colin Powell's son) has become unpopular with the right and the conservatives, but has secured a substantial majority within the government. What was left of the Republican and Libertarian parties merged into the Constitution Party, and took the mantle of being the mainstream conservative party. Puerto Rico (what was left of it anyway) has been annexed into the U.S., and due to the low-yield nuclear bomb detonated in Washington, D.C. in an attempt to slow down the undead advance (unsuccessfully), the capital was moved to New York City.
Turkey has seen the revival of the Monarchy. A Sultan took power and the nation became quasi-Imperialist. All Kurds within Turkey, Syria and Iraq were expelled into the former Iranian territory, They own all of pre-War Turkey, as well as everything in the Middle East north of Judea and West of Kurdistan.
The Republic of Kurdistan acts as a nice buffer state between Turkey and their Indian Rivals. Although the Kurds aren't too happy about being expelled from their homelands, they have since built their own country after years of fighting for independence, so it equals out.
Judea is a nation encompassing all of pre-war "Greater Israel", but is no longer a Jewish state. During the war, the Palestinians and the Israelis made peace and they were let inside the Israeli wall. Many Zionists were upset, leading to a short civil war that saw the expulsion of all radical Zionists into infested areas. After the war, the nation was rechristened the "State of Judea" as "Israel" was too Jewish. Arabic and Hebrew were both given official status, and the nation became secular.