The funny thing is that, in Haiti, no one is afraid of zombies. They're afraid of being turned into zombies because they'd be controllable.
But, looking at zombification as an infectious disease is interesting, based on the assumption that they have the desire to spread the infection. It's somewhat more scientific than proposing zombies search for brains.
Afa the student study, though, variables such as humans killing or controlling zombies (aopt them hunting us), assuming zombie speed, allowing for the percentage of amputees, elderly, very young, etc who would be the first ones infected by hunter zombies, might change the prediction.
But, for me, the one thing that most zombie scenarios lack is a good explanation of the cause. Afa entertainment, it's probably better that no explanation is given (as in The Walking Dead). Though, I think that World War Z handled it best of all. However, that was the opposite of Romero's "living dead" who were just a new type of 60s monster. The zombie produced by failed military experiments or chemical malfunctions are usually more interesting because of what the zombies do.
What I really want to know is what would happen if the zombies won. There have some interesting attempts at showing zombies coexisting with humans. But, imagine if zombies took over? They'd never die; then again, how would they reproduce? Ah, if they were intelligent (maybe the reason they'd seek brains), they would keep humans alive to farm them. All it would take is one smart zombie, maybe like the chimp Caesar in Planet of the Apes.
"A man is rich when he has time and freewill. How he chooses to invest both will determine the return on his investment."