PROJECT General World Building: Diseases

Discussion in 'CREATING WORLDS & SETTINGS' started by Lstorm, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Whether one realises it or not, diseases can play a major role in how a world develops. One just has to take a look at the Black Plague, the Spanish Flu or the recent Swine Flu, as all of these events had major impacts on the population, and the world-view of people, some of them inducing panic or a flock to all medical centres for vaccination. Diseases can also be used for biological warfare and although they were not used on a massive scale in human history as a weapon, that does not mean it will stay that way. When used this way, diseases are a means of control, inducing fear and demoralising the enemy, causing catastrophic damage to their ranks.

    Your exercise is to invent a disease that is well-known in the world. It does not have to be a disease that wiped out half the planet or caused a lot of suffering, but it must be famous for some reason. You can use the following sheet to create the disease, or just make up your own.

    Name: (What is the disease called?)

    Classification: (Is it a virus? A bacterial infection? Something else entirely?)

    Symptoms: (What symptoms does this disease have? How long after infection do these symptoms show? Do the symptoms get worse over time, or does the patient just develop different symptoms over time?)

    Complications: (Does the disease cause further and more sever symptoms if it interacts with other diseases or with certain environments? If the disease is localised to an organ, can it spread and wreck more havoc?)

    Incubation period: (How long does it take for the disease to begin its work and start affecting the organism?)

    Transmission: (How can the disease be transmitted? Can it survive in water? Is it transmitted by touch? Is it transmitted by air? Or is it transmitted in a completely alien way?)

    Survivability: (How long can a disease last outside of an organism? Can it last at all? Is it weak to a specific thing, like heat?)

    Adaptability: (Can the disease adapt to medicine? At what rate does it adapt? Does it evolve continuously or does it stay the same for a long time? How fast can the disease adapt to different circumstances?)

    Death rate: (What are the chances of someone dying from this disease?)

    Cure: (Does a cure exist? Is it in the form of a vaccine or immunisation by injection? If neither exist, is there a method that can help recovery, or is believed to slow the progression of he disease?)

    History: (When was the disease first sighted? How has it impacted the world? Was the disease cured, or did it disappear due to natural causes? Did the disease reappear? Does it still exist today? What do people think of the disease now?)

    Other: (Any information we should know)
    • Like Like x 1
  2. This will probably go really bad since I know NOTHING about bacterias and viruses, but am bored so I shall try this anyway x)

    Repens Pectus Excessum (Sudden Heart Death)

    Classification: Bacterial infection

    Symptoms: From the moment X has been infected it takes around three to nine days for the symptoms to show. The first symptoms are headaches, stomach pain and a fever. The fever becomes higher for ever day and the heart rhythm becomes irregular, which can cause the heart to stop. Vomiting and diarrhea usually starts after three days which can lead to dehydration. The symptoms usually calms down after a week and if the person survives they usually are completely recovered after two to four weeks.
    Complications: If the person has a heart disease then it increases the chances of dying by heart failure.
    Incubation period: 3-9 Days

    Transmission: It mainly transmits through water and air

    The disease can survive very cold temperatures, but dies easily in a warmer environment.
    Adaptability: The disease adapts to medicine at a rather high speed, and evolves continuously.
    Death rate: A very old, young or sick (from something else than the disease) person has very small chances of surviving, while a from the start healthy person have a 30 % chance of dying by the disease.
    Cure: There is no cure yet, they can only calm the symptoms down a bit.

    History: The disease was seen for the first time fifty years ago. It took many lives over the course of two years. Then it disappeared for ten years before reappearing again. It has continued to disappear and reappear in a 2/10 year pattern. The disease frightened everyone because most people with it usually died in their sleep of a sudden heart failure. This made everyone that became sick afraid of sleeping, and they tried to stay awake as long as possible. This behavior made the sickness even worse, and made the carrier suffer even more.
    During the first year of the first wave they had nothing to fight back the disease with and almost 90 % of the patients died. Now a days it's a 70% chance for people to survive as long as they were healthy to begin with. For small children it's only a 40 % chance of survival while for very old people it's around 25%.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. I'm going to do the disease in my zombie apocalypse RP, 2035

    Name: Harbinger's Virus

    Classification: Virus

    Symptoms: Stage 1, 10-30 mins after infection- paling/yellowing of the skin and teeth, eyes become bloodshot
    Stage 2, 30min-1hr AI- loss in muscle strength and stamina, loss of consciousness, teeth grind together and become sharper, heartbeat decreases vastly
    Stage 3, 1-2hr AI- Host's heartbeat continually slows, heart stop beating
    Stage 4, 2-4hr AI- Virus roots into brains, sending electrical impulses through the body, returning life to host. Gums are ruptured due to increased blood flow to the mouth, coating the teeth in blood. Host begins attacking uninfected organisms to spread the virus

    Complications: The host can also spread other diseases carried by it before infection and after infection, if any are acquired during the decomposition of the body.

    Incubation period: It begins 10-30 minutes after initial infection.

    Transmission: The virus is transmitted by blood to blood contact, usually in the form of the blood in the hosts mouth when it bites a victim.

    Survivability: The virus seems to be particularly affected by fire and extreme cold
    Adaptability: Yes, it does adapt to medicine, and has already adapted to -cillin type-medicines and is unaffected by common over the counter medicines and most healing magic.

    Death rate: 96% chance of death, 4% chance of survival should the victim either be immune or if the wound is cauterized immediately after infection.

    Cure: So far, the only known cure is death of the host by decapitation or incineration, but it is rumored that a cure is being made.

    History: The disease was created in a lab to help better treatments for other diseases. One of the scientists was working with the virus and had forgotten to protect himself, and was infected. He then spread the virus to everyone else in the lab, and from there it spread around the world.

    Other: The virus infects animals as well as humans, elves, nymphs and other manner of humanoids, but it only kills the animals instead of turning them into flesh-eating monsters.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Name: The Hellfire Plague

    Classification: Magically-enhanced bacterium, though at this time period bacteria have yet to be discovered so it is commonly referred to as a curse.

    Symptoms: The most obvious and notorious symptom is the necrotizing flesh, which shines luminescent with a reddish-orange light before the flesh dry-rots in a day or two with a feeling of intense burning, falling away as greyish-brown dust. It looks and feels almost as though the person is a hot coal being eaten away by flame, hence the name Hellfire. On occasion a pneumatic infection will be contracted, where the same process will occur within the lungs.

    Complications: The Hellfire bacterium is vicious to fellow infections, and will engage in chemical warfare with any other living particles it comes into contact with, including other bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

    Incubation period: In a skin-to-skin case, a noticeable chunk of flesh will not be necrotized for around forty-eight hours. In a pneumatic case it works much more slowly, and can take as much as a week for the infected to start coughing up blood, though the burning sensation can precede this by up to a day.

    Transmission: Skin-to-skin is the most common, as touching the necrotizing flesh is almost guaranteed to spread the bacterium. Clothing or other possessions of the infected may also transmit the sickness. The rare pneumatic cases can spread through the air to other peoples' lungs, but the bacteria is heavy and does not respond well to UV light, meaning that pneumatic cases are not easily transmitted.

    Survivability: Sensitive to holy magic and UV, the bacterium can survive for only a few days outside of a host in a warm, moist, and dark place, and less time than that if those three conditions are not met.

    Adaptability: Almost impervious to the primitive medicines of the time, Hellfire Plague displays weaknesses only to holy magic, and even then it is highly resistant, often requiring direct contact by a consecrated object or holy water to be completely killed.

    Death rate: Around fifty percent from the immediate infection, but many survivors are so maimed they can never return to life as they know it and live as beggars, often starving or being purposefully killed in under a year, so indirect deaths put the percentage at well over seventy-five.

    Cure: Holy magic is the only effective treatment. Even so, it is difficult to penetrate through necrotizing flesh with the spells, so amputation and blessing of the stump is usually recommended, though the failure rate is increasing. If no holy magic is available, it's often considered better to amputate than risk the disease going further, though it is somewhat rare that the disease will only have one area of necrotization.

    History: The disease appeared, by what is probably not coincidence, just a few years after the Imperial Orthodox Church was banned from seven of the nine great realms. Within a few years the people are returning to the church in hopes of saving their bodies and souls, but the holy magic isn't as effective as it once was...

    Other: The Hellfire Plague infects only humans. None of the other races, not even Orcs which are genetically the most similar and can share most diseases, can contract the infection. Halfling children only very rarely fall ill, and a good number of Quarterlings are also resistant, suggesting the susceptibility factor is a recessive trait. It is suspected that the handful of supposedly "pure blood" humans who are immune have some inhuman blood in their family tree, as the resistance is almost guaranteed in every other race but incredibly rare in humankind.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Name: Rayle, The Rot or Tongue Fever

    Classification: Virus

    Symptoms: Starts with a mild throat tickling followed by a cough. Progresses to the changing of the tongue to a dark purple color. After a few days the person forms large welts over their body, the largest and most painful being on the tongue. The person then begins to systematically rot from the inside out. The vital organs are saved for last, ensuring that a person remains alive as long as possible.

    Complications: Certain medications may accelerate the disease and lack of water and warm climates make someone more susceptible.

    Incubation period: 24 hours

    Transmission: Touch, air and saliva

    Survivability: If caught VERY early the person has about a 20% chance of surviving

    Adaptability: So far the disease has shown resistance to almost every single medication thrown at it. As stated before, some medications may accelerate its progress.

    Death rate: About 80% if caught early, 99% if not.

    Cure: There is no cure. The only medications that are used makes the rotting process less painful, or accelerates it to get things over with.

    History: First appeared about 900 years prior to the present. Origins unknown.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Name: Niahu Meph (Shadow Plauge)

    Classification: Bacterial infection.

    Symptoms: First symptoms resemble a common cold, genrally weakness or tiredness, slight fever, sore throat and nasal inflammation. After a week and up to three the disease spread and turns vicious, heavy fever, pain in muscles and limbs, headaches and swollen glands. This is generally the last chance of stopping the disease, most survivors are treat before and during this stage. Later symptoms include chest pains, blood emerging when people coff and internal pain as the disease hits and destroys internal organs.

    Complications: Given the chance the bacteria can hit the head or heart leading to heart attacks, severe meningitis and also quicker and more serious symptoms. If a person is already sick the bacteria will aggressively take over and kill the other virus or bacteria and also accelerate it's own growth.

    Incubation period: After a victim is infected the first symptoms come within a week and resembles a cold, after two weeks the stronger symptoms has emerged and the disease can be identified.

    Transmission: Through blood but also through the air if an infected person coffs or sneezes, and also through intimate contact between people.

    Survivability: It can last over a month in good conditions like a warm and slightly humid weather but in cold or dry weather it dies, it can however survive quite hot temperatures. While it likes humidity it can not survive being deep under water, if it's the pressure itself or existing bacteria or organisms that is the reason are unknown.

    Adaptability: It is very good at adapting and although it is vulnerable to healing magic it can evolve and resist it as well.

    Death rate: Very high, among healthy people with an age about 25-40 the death rate is 75%, old, young and those with a weak immune system have a death rate of 95%.

    Cure: There are only experimental cures so far, healing magic contains light magic so if used skillfully and against strong victims it can cure them but mostly it stalls the inevitable end and ease pain. A medicine made from the Zweiu (oil coat) of the Juugen is being researched on and in theory should work.

    History: First a disease found among the Juugen where normaly it was a 100% death rate but thanks the their Zweiu, a unique oil in their skin that gives them full immunity against diseases, after affecting weak and vulnerable Juugen the bacteria causing it started to mutate and change when it came into contact with other races. From that it spread across any and all race it came across, people started calling it the Shadow Plague as the Juugen is known for shadow magic and as they are pretty much immune to the disease. People stall it and ease pain with healing magic and herbal remedies but more recent studies on in some way adding the Zweiu and blood from survivals that holds antibodies to a working cure are on their way. It's actually a pretty slow moving disease which generally would make it less threatening but it's slow and innocent spread hides the true danger. It is not so common now a days but there are still outbreaks and no one has yet figured out what causes them.

    Other: A Juugen with a fully working Zweiu is immune to the disease and the Laokti races that live deep below the water are also spared. People with strong immune systems and good health that have survived the disease can not be infected a second time, they are basically immune. The humans on Brichana, the Zith'ogana, are not immune themselves but their cold and dry wheater and few sumer months makes it so that the bacteria would never survive there, rending them basically immune.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Well this looks like fun AND a chance for me to flesh out a certain condition of a character of mine.

    Name: It doesn't have an official name but the Sandinem refer to it as "The Black Sheep Strain"

    Classification: Genetic Disorder; nanite programming malfunction.

    Symptoms: The first signs of manifestation is hallucination. Depending on how early the condition activates can mean a difference in being diagnosed. If the disease activates during childhood (which is very uncommon) then the hallucinations are often mistaken for a child's imagination. The second stage of the disease is heightened aggression. Carriers of the unfortunate condition will easily become agitated and violent with little or no provocation. The third stage is involuntary cannibalism. And while Sandinem in general feed on the blood of others, the body will reject all blood but that of their own kind. The final stage of The Black Sheep Strain is insanity. The "infected" will essentially become a wild, murderous, starving beast with no ability to discern even their most precious of loved ones.

    Complications: Self harm is one of the biggest complications of this condition. The carriers both despise and fear themselves and many Sandinem suicides have been the result of this condition.

    Incubation period: Generally the disease will not begin to manifest until the late teens, early twenties. However, The Black Sheep Strain is a bit like a ticking time bomb and no one may ever see the count display. Some are lucky and the condition is either delayed until much later in life or it lies dormant infinitely. Others have terrible luck and the first stage happens as early as childhood. There is no way of determining when the condition will manifest. Well, unless one is being surveyed by an Airiad.

    Transmission: Primarily hereditary. Even then, it's the luck of the draw. In a few cases, the disease is not passed along to offspring. Unrelated Sandinem may very well contract this disease through excessive cannibalism of their own accord.

    Survivability: Infinitely. I'm sure that seems like a weird answer considering it's a genetic disease. But Airiad technology is often godlike. They are capable of saving all that is tangible as code. So, in fact, this disease can be isolated from a host by gathering the hostile nanites, removing them, and storing them as data. It can also be as easily destroyed.

    Adaptability: Considering there is no cure aside from data surgery, there is no medicine to adapt to.

    Death rate: If a host does not succumb to cannibalism, he or she will die of starvation. Many have taken their own lives before reaching the final stage. Many have been killed after reaching the final stage. The disease itself does not cause death. 9/10 Sandinem who have the misfortune of playing host to this disease will die long before they would of old age, if they are not treated.

    Cure: In a sense, yes. The Airiads are currently gathering the infected and removing the hostile nanites via data surgery. But this can only be done before the final stage because once a Sandinem has reached the final stage, all that they used to be (personality-wise) is no more. The brain will have received far too much damage and there will be no point.

    History: The original Sandinem world was a prosperous place. But like all peace, it was short-lived. War with neighboring planets broke out and because their enemies had advanced technology and war bred into them, the Sandinem race was easily out matched. And although most were able to escape the planet during the final stretches of the war, some were left behind, trapped on a dead world with no food nor a means of escaping. Threatened with starvation, they turned to their only food source - each other. And while ingesting small amounts of Sandinem blood is not harmful (both to the races who lack nanites as well as the Sandinem themselves who have enough nanites to quickly crush a handful of invaders), these poor trapped souls fed for decades on each other, continuously inducing a war of nanites inside their veins until finally the invading nanites won and began attacking the brain as a malfunction. This is where the disease first began. After a century, some of the Sandinem returned to their dead planet, surprised to find small colonies of children and teens. These were the results of breeding while infected - children with their own nanites as well as dormant hostile nanites that had taken refuge in the mother's egg. The children's hostile nanites remained dormant for an unknown period of time. And, unknowing of the nature of these offspring, the Sandinem adopted many and took them 'home'. This is how the disorder spread to other worlds.

    Other: While many of the races were created by the Airiads, said races were neglected and many developed these ghastly disorders, these deformities in their original design. Now that the Airiads are turning their attention back to their 'children', they are tirelessly working to repair all that is broken, starting with the Sandinem.
    • Like Like x 1