Disease signs and symptoms:
People with the disease are now referred to as ‘The Affected’
Exact mechanisms of infection are not all known, but being bitten by a diseased person always results in infection unless bitten area is excised within thirty minutes.
Symptoms begin to manifest after two weeks.
Initially Flu-like, then progress to:
Body temp 39.1 C
white cell counts massively high
‘z-cell positive’ – this is the definitive diagnostic tool
The Affected are still alive (see ‘Legal Rulings’).
They have a slow, shuffling gait and severe mental stunting.
Unmedicated, they have a desire to eat human flesh – without necessarily killing first.
If injured, they will heal. They can even lose a body part and will heal if missing limb reattached (duct tape will do).
However, they can be killed by major trauma to any part of the torso/head.
Diet and Behaviour
An Affected can eat bland cooked food.
They need 5 meals a day minimum due to high metabolic rate.
They require a high protein diet.
They do appear to recognise close family.
Groans, screams and moans seem to be the primary mode of communication and it is unclear whether they feel basic emotions.
Bright colours and busy patterns may make an Affected agitated, but made calm again with soothing noises, purring and gentle music.
They do age, but slower than a non Affected. They don’t appear to get ill.
‘…the people with this awful illness are the some of the most robust people on the planet…’ – Dr Ian Templeton, Govt Scientist.
In 1979, medication was developed by British military scientists which inhibits an Affected persons drive to kill and eat. The medication is delivered by injection monthly.
New cases of infection still occur in the general population. Anyone with any cold-like symptoms are required by law to report to the local military medical facility immediately. Any person who does not report immediately is subject to military law and will be arrested and taken into custody. Any family harbouring an unregistered Affected will be taken into custody, assuming they have not already been eaten.
Integration of The Affected
Once medicated and stable they can be trained to do menial, basic tasks and because of FFART’s 1979 courtroom victory, they are entitled to a minimum wage (the legal ruling upheld that they were still entitled to a full day’s pay – because they aren’t dead).
Examples of jobs that are suitable for an Affected are: sign post holder, scarecrow, turtle rancher, underwater pipe layer, crash test executive, minefield clearance executive. Some families allow pharmaceutical companies and medical schools to study their Affected because it may help to find ‘the cure’. Affected without known families become wards of the state and are generally used for the advancement for scientific research.
The population continues to hold out for a cure – The Affected are family after all. See more in ‘Daily Life’.