In 28 Days Later, why did they select the value 28 and not any other? Is this number something special or did they just choose it randomly?

  • I stated this in a similar question (here: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/37184/…), but it was my impression that the number 28 was how many days an infected could survive without food before starving to death. I've been unable to find a good source to prove it however.
    – onewho
    Jul 30, 2015 at 17:25
  • I am fairly sure I have once read about how roughly 28 days is how long an infection of the nature seen in 28 Days Later (highly contagious, infected grow at an exponential rate) would take to infect the entire population of the UK, but I cannot find a source for that, no matter how hard I look. Jul 31, 2015 at 14:59
  • 1
    @DrRDizzle FWIW, this shows the SARS virus having become pandemic in less than 25 days.
    – Mazura
    Aug 1, 2015 at 0:39

1 Answer 1


I could not find a solid answer but I did find a good hypothesis. This is from Yahoo Answers and was put forth by a user named "methroach". Here is his/her take on the reason the number 28 was chosen:

  • It just has a nice ring to it--it's an even number, and it comes out to 4 weeks, or roughly a month.
  • It's a time period that is just long enough to make the level of devastation and the evacuation believable. Too early, and Jim wakes up with (possibly) some people still around. Too late, and people might question why he (and the other few survivors) aren't dead. The timing is important; the first scene when he's walking around the empty streets is effective and creepy.

Also, how long can one stay in a coma without being attended to, before problems arise?

Here is the link to the Yahoo Answers page.

  • 3
    It's better a better answer than nothing, but Yahoo Answers is hardly a "reliable source".
    – onewho
    Jul 30, 2015 at 17:40

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