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Like Dr. Ibrahim Obeidallah before him, Dutch physician Dr. Jan Vanderhaven is one of the most important figures in the study of the undead.

In 1913, Dr. Vanderhaven arrived in Paramaribo, having been called to study a mysterious outbreak now recognized as a zombie infestation. Initially, the outbreak was believed to have been a form of leprosy, a specialty of Dr. Vanderhaven's. While he immediately ruled out leprosy as the cause of infection, Dr. Vanderhaven never realized the true nature of the outbreak, as he was never allowed to conduct a proper autopsy. However, Dr. Vanderhaven would go on to rediscover many of Dr. Obeidallah's findings in addition to new ones that furthered the modern understanding of the undead. At one point, a hospital orderly threw a live rat to a zombie, which was promptly devoured. From this, Dr. Vanderhaven was able to deduce that zombies were compelled to devour all forms of living flesh. Additionally, by conducting various experiments, Dr. Vanderhaven was the first to determine that the zombies were created by a virus, or "contagious living fluid" as they were called at the time. Finally, Dr. Vanderhaven proposed the name "Solanum" for the virus, though he did not provide any reasoning for this title. The term has since been adopted as the virus' official scientific name.

Following the conclusion of his study, Dr. Vanderhaven returned to Holland in 1914 to write a 200 page report on his findings. Unlike Dr. Obeidallah, Dr. Vanderhaven's report was not rejected by the scientific community and was officially published. However, with the onset of World War I the same year, Dr. Vanderhaven's work was quickly forgotten. A copy of his work would later be utilized by the Imperial Japanese military in 1942 before disappearing from public knowledge once again. Despite being mostly forgotten until the 21st century, Dr. Vanderhaven's report is now considered to be the basis for all modern knowledge of Solanum.