Poor People's Diseases

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Poor People's Diseases

Post  Hugo on Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:06 pm

There's money in prevention, treatment, and curing all illnesses. For the truly poor, for the depersonalized, for the humans living on junk heats and in polluted holes like rats, cure, prevention, treatment, and even official diagnosis may be beyond them. Traditional diseases still exist--dysentrery by any other name still can cause life threatening dehydration--but pollution, mutation, radiation, and time have added some fun new germs to humanity. Listed by colloquial names, here are some diseases endemic to the superfuture.




Last edited by Hugo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Poor People's Diseases

Post  Hugo on Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:27 pm

Diseases of the Poor

Name: Rust Sores, s. spirarchaea
Potency: 2
Transmission Vector: Touch.
Description and Symptoms: A common ailment of smelters, factory workers, recyclers, and scrapyarders. Caused by a bioengineered bacteria that aids in preventing oxidation and increasing the lifespan of lubrication on steel alloys. When it gets into an open wound, the bacteria causes inflamed skin that form into painful, brown colored blisters. After a few days the blisters burst, spreading infection to any other open wounds and also creating a sore which can take up to a week to heal. The sores heal regularly, but open wounds can cause vectors for other infection.

In the immuno-compromised, infants, and eldery, 'rust sores' can form on any mucus membrane, causing blisters which can block breathing pathways, lead to stomach ulcers, internal bleeding, or STI like symptoms. These infections can infect and re-infect, making it very hard to clear up naturally.

Prevention, Treatment, Cure: BioCleeen can remove the bacteria, and adequate safety precautions such as gloves, goggles, and clothing with an armor rating of 1 or better easily prevent infection. Due to the bacteria' bioengineered status, standard antibacterials only have a 30% success rate, generally in the healthy. A full course of standard antibacterials costs 60 credits. Advanced antibacterials cost 350 for a course with an 85% success rate. Each level of toughskin reduced the chance of infection in high risk groups by 50%. A cure exists, but it was created when the bacteria was just introduced as an anti-oxidizing agent. It is no longer in large scale production. The cure is therefore very rare and quite expensive at 1,500 credits a dose. It does provide lifelong protection and clears up any infection in the system, latent or otherwise. Agents are immune.




Name: Tech Tremors
Potency: N/A.
Transmission Vector: Poorly installed or low grade Cybernetics.
Description and Symptoms: A nerve interface problem between low quality or poorly installed cybernetics. Each cybernetic causes a different problem, and each partially successful surgery increases the effects. The worst instances of this are from any brain, nervous system, or nano-upgrade. Symptoms include shaking (especially after exercise or in affected limbs), seizures, arrhythmia, visual and auditory hallucinations, peripheral neuropathy or sporadic numbness, speech problems, memory loss, temporary aphasia, dry mouth, and death.

Malfunctioning wetwares, such as glands or an internal AIs, can cause uncontrolled growths or legions on organs. Just don't do it, man.

Prevention, Treatment, Cure: Prevention is to have only quality cybernetics installed, or to have a skilled cyberneticist and surgeon repair damaged pathways. Removing the cybernetic is always advised. Long term care may be needed for such invasive surgery as nerve upgrades. Agents are normally immune as long as they don't install poor cybernetics, and functioning ICE helps mitigate some effects, even if they do opt for a much cheaper, much less safer option.




Name: Underswell Illness
Potency: 1.
Transmission Vector: Air.
Description and Symptoms: Poor ventilation and 'sick building syndrome' were thought to account for a large portion of the complaints EI Underswell dwellers had about respiratory and auto-immune problems. (Though originally well-ventilated, make-shift housing removed a lot of air flow in some Underswell sectors.) Even as symptoms developed to include kidney failure and a rise of opportunistic diseases, the majority of EI doctors assumed it was acute lack of money that was causing most issues.

After a few revolts and a few cases in lower levels of the spire, the EI discovered a fungus growing in the floor, walls, and basically any dark surface of the Underswell. The spores would take root, so to speak, of lungs. This would cause breathing problems, especially as spores grew on tissue, causing it to die. Spores would burst and rupture as the fungus grew to maturity, making every infected person a vector for more infection. Long term problems involve a depressed immune system, autoimmune problems as the host body struggles to deal with the fungus. Rare but serious complications can develop.

Prevention, Treatment, Cure: Don't go to the Underswell! While almost everyone appears to breathe in the fungus in the underswell, only a small portion of them get infected each year, with only 1% or so developing serious symptoms. By the time investigation were actually done, the fungus had spread to spires all over the world. Treatment is fairly cheap at 45 credits a dose, but attempts to purify the air and clean the Underspires haven't been very successful.


Last edited by Hugo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Poor People's Diseases

Post  Hugo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:52 pm

Name: Ragusa fever, Sweet sleep, care killer, whimpering waste.
Potency: 3.
Transmission Vector: Air, skin contact with the infected or their fluids.
Description and Symptoms: The most common name for this illness is 'Ragusa fever', after the doctor who first documented its symptoms. Confined to isolated populated pockets in primarily Free State zones, this contagion is a fast moving, virulently infectious pathogen that causes a fever, then severe fatigue and crippling muscle weakness. Thirst, hunger, and general malaise causes those ill to whimper in need; a pathetic sound since those ill can do little more.

Though the infected generally (92%) get over the illness within 10-14 days with little more than hunger and mild muscle atrophy, they require intensive care. Feeding and cleaning of waste need to be done by hand. This is labor intensive--overwhelming for anyone, especially if a family comes down with it--and since the incubation period is only 1-2 days, all members of a family, house, or town can fall ill before anyone recovers enough to take care of them.

Prevention, Treatment, Cure: The late Doctor Ragusa, an altruistic if mad Free State doctor, was able to identify the disease on three continents, but was not able to find a common cause. The exact pathogen or pollutant remains unknown. Protective clothing and preventative measures such as breathing masks and gloves are normally enough to prevent contact, or at least delay it for a few days. Effective and automated hydration, from medical bots and glucose packs are enough to sustain the sick. There is no cure, but with enough care, the recovery rate is close to 100%. The infections pass quickly, but the common belief is that you can fall ill with it many times. For this reason, outsiders shun the infected and avoid the pity pathogen. Agents appear to be immune.
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Re: Poor People's Diseases

Post  Hugo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:45 pm

Name: Contagious Abortion,  Abortive plague, Barren sickness.
Potency: 1.
Transmission Vector: Ingestion of tainted meat, dairy, or water; blood contact; Sexual Contact; contact with infected waste. Mammals carry the infection from place to place. Rats and livestock are specific targets.
Description and Symptoms: This disease causes little to no symptoms in most people. Infections are caused by protozoa and can find its way out of the system in 2 to 4 months. The main complication occurs between 26 to 38 of pregnancy. It starts with hypertension, headache, nausea, fever. Within a week, these symptoms pass and those infected feel much better. Spontaneous miscarriage occurs shortly after. Fetuses are born still-born.

Since the disease is easily unnoticed and the miscarriages can be explained by other problems, the disease may remain undiagnosed in a town or city settlement for years. Diagnosis is the hardest part. Pollutants or poison may be suspected, and less educated or more suspicious towns may suspect curses or other less rational issues.

Prevention, Treatment, Cure: A course of standard anti-protozoals, created from a modified anti-malaria drug, can provide an cute in three days. A standard course is 25 credits. Intervention of the symptoms during the active illness stage can save the fetus, though sometimes disability may follow those that live. Since the infection often gets everyone in a community, a whole town must receive treatment to prevent reinfection. Livestock must also be treated, and the local animal population culled.
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Re: Poor People's Diseases

Post  Hugo on Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:48 pm

Name: Skin worms, bite bugs.
Potency: N/A
Transmission Vector: Bites from carrier insects; tainted water in open wounds.
Description and Symptoms: Mutated nematode worms lay eggs in still water. Insects like mosquitoes and biting flies pick up the tiny larvae when they hatch or drink from the infested water. The biting insects then bite mammal flesh, depositing the eggs. The end result is a warm, healthy place for the parasitic nematode worms to grow. The wound from the bite quickly heals. Within 2-3 weeks, the skin boils and erupts as dozens of very thin, light brown, snake-like worms slither away from the host to find water to lay more eggs. The disease is asymptomatic until the boil phase.

Prevention, Treatment, Cure: A oral pesticide can cure an infestation before it erupts. A five day course costs 75 credits, but is still uncommon as most people just live with it. Bleeding out bites within a few hours of receiving them can provide respite. Agents are immune to insect bites. If their wounds get exposed to tainted water before healing, eggs can get trapped under the skin as per a normal infection.
The main issue is if an agent has Toughskin. The skin is too thick to allow the worms to an escape, so full grown worms are trapped in the dermal layer. This is profoundly itchy as the worms writhe and chew through the flesh. Since this is a disease of the poor and can take weeks to manifest, many agent doctors don't immediately recognize it. Treatment kicks in--removing the itch and killing the worms in the skin--after four days. Cutting the flesh and submerging it into water can cause some mature worms to escape from Toughskin, but the process only works 25% of the time.
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