t-Virus infection (known to some members of the public as the "Cannibal disease") is a contagious disease experienced by a wide range of life forms, from humans to plants, caused by t-Viruses. There are many strains of this virus, though its effects in humans are largely the same.
In humans Edit
The time required for a t-virus infection to be completely mutate a human varies from hours to as long as a week,[excerpt 1] even in cases where people are infected with the same strain. A variety of factors such as the strength of an individual's immune system may be involved.
One of the symptoms of t-Virus infection is a severe hormone imbalance, brought on by damage to the brain. Victims tend to overproduce hormones regulating behaviour and hunger, as well as the Human Growth Hormone. Over time, this results in the person becoming murderously angry, cannibalistically hungry and experiencing height gain by as much as several inches. These changes are part of a wider process of brain damage, with other parts suffering from necrosis. This results in a loss of speech; deterioration of memory and retardation of motor skills. The mental changes do not happen in a fixed pattern, nor do they necessarily take place quickly. In the case of the Arklay Laboratory's animal keeper, he began displaying mental retardation after seven days, and soon after became obsessively hungry to the point of consuming dog food, followed by murdering and eating his friend, Scott. An Umbrella treatment plant worker, Thomas, was known to complain of an unbearable hunger when infected.
Fatigue is another possible symptom of t-Virus infection, though is not always present. When Police Lt. Marvin Branagh was infected, he slept for over a day. Similarly, S.T.A.R.S. officer Jill Valentine was comatose until the early hours of 1 October, after passing out in the early hours of 29 September. In the case of Valentine, she also complained about being incapable of feeling anything, which may also be indicative of mutation or damage to the brain.
Aside from brain and behaviour symptoms, one of the most noticable symptoms is that of necrosis of the skin. Due to mutations, the human body no longer provides sustenance for the skin, causing extreme discomfort as it begins to necrotise. The body may exhibit Pallor mortis, the end of capillary circulation, as suggested by Thomas' description as appearing "like the walking dead". However, this was not seen on Marvin Branagh until he had already finished his mutation into a Zombie. A fever, the congestion of blood, or other signs of illness is also one possible symptom.
Internally, the body has mutated so that a cardiopulmonary system is no longer required to keep the victim alive, and thus makes them considerably harder to kill. As a side-effect, however, this also makes it more difficult to confirm an infected patient's death, as the lack of heart beat is traditionally an indication of death. During the Raccoon City Destruction Incident, a number of Raccoon General Hospital patients were prematurely declared dead and buried; they ultimately awoke as Zombies and began digging out of their graves.
In animals Edit
Mammals share some symptoms of infection with humans, but not all. Whereas dogs suffered from dramatic tissue necrosis to the point of exposed rib cages, infected dobermans were found by Umbrella's "Cerberus Project" team to be able to follow basic commands just as well. While they were tame around their handlers, these dogs did demonstrate severe aggressive tendencies as typical with the hormone imbalance of humans. A group of Cerberuses escaped from their cages at the Arklay Laboratory when they were neglected by their keeper, and began preying on hikers as a food source. Other canine species such as hyenas experience overall similar mutations and behaviour changes as dogs do, as seen at the Raccoon Zoo. One unique case of mammalian infection, however, was that of a Zombie Elephant at the same zoo. The elephant, Oscar, became increasingly agitated and as hungry as in human cases.
The disease is not endemic to any part of the globe, but as of the 21st century it has been widely-available in the bio-weapons black market, allowing it to be used in, virtually, any part of the world. In 1981 the Arklay Laboratory team estimated that 90% of the human population would mutate into Zombies if exposed to the virus, with 10% being immune entirely. Corporate dissatisfaction, however, led to continued work on the virus with the goal of achieving a 100% certainty.
The only known individual to be bitten and not show signs of infection is Rebecca Chambers, who was attacked by an Eliminator in 1998. This may have been due to a so-called "dry-bite" (no saliva, or no infected saliva, entering the wound); natural immunity, or the t-Virus strain developed in 1977 by Dr. James Marcus not being particularly infectious.
No person has been observed to naturally fight off any strain of the virus outside of laboratory conditions, though by 1998 it was standard procedure within Umbrella for people in high-risk professions to take injections of anti-"t" antibodies to fight off infection, though mutations in the virus risked making them useless. As said above, though there was a degree of immunity to the virus seventeen years prior to the Raccoon City Destruction Incident, it is likely to have no longer been the case by 1998.
The virus' secondary means of infection is through contact with another virus carrier - direct fluid transmission. The virus does not appear to infect people when it only makes contact with the epidermis, and so must enter a body in some manner to lead to an infection - biting is the most common modes that humans will spread the infection, as it allows infected saliva to enter a wound in some amount. Another means of infection may lie in the pollution of drinking water - it is believed that the epidemic in Raccoon City began rapidly in September because of such an infection.
The virus can change modes of transmission from waterborne to physical contact depending on its environment. As such, transmission can be prevented by avoiding any direct contact with t-Virus carriers and drinking from uninfected water (e.g. water bottles already filled before pollution).
A number of vaccines have been developed independently to counter the t-Virus. Unfortunately, three of them only succeeded in being manufactured when the Raccoon City epidemic was at its peak, and so were only used on a few people.
As no one has been seen to naturally heal from a t-Virus infection, it is highly-likely that infection cannot be treated without the immediate injection of a vaccine. Chemicals from anti-viral tablets and First Aid Sprays can be used when scratched to limit the chance of infections. The "Green Herb", a plant native to the Arklay Mountains, is observed to have a beneficial effect on the healing of wounds as well as the treatment of infection, including viruses, by boosting-up the immune system. The herb's properties are well known, and people are encouraged by some to stock up on them.
Concluding from above, the t-Virus, with its high-infection rate and horrendous life-prospects among the infected, is highly-dangerous. It is because of the deadly properties that makes it so popular among bio-terrorists. As no cure is known for those who have succumbed to the virus, anti-bioterror operations have resorted to euthanize them, seen in the attack on the Harvardville International Airport in 2005, where elements of the U.S. Marine Corps were sent in to exterminate the carriers.
See also: C-Virus
There is a similar virus called the C-Virus which creates zombies similar to "t" zombies, developed by Carla Radames. There are many differences which make the C-Virus more dangerous; the infected retain most of their intelligence, they rapidly mutate when injured, and are capable of using weapons. Certain creatures like J'avo or Ustanak can speak and understand human languages, allowing them to orchestrate organized attacks. This virus were being used by the terrorist group Neo Umbrella in the Global Bioterror Attacks.
- ↑ Excerpt from Kaitai Shinsho, p.331:
"「人体に起こる一般的症状」 初期症状としてかゆみを覚え、 空腹感が増し、 皮膚の壊死やうっ血が見られる。時間経過とともに意識混濁を不定期に起こすようになり、 理性を失う。未期になると全身がただれ、 命あるものの肉を欲して徘徊をはじめる。この段階の感染体は「ゾンビ」と呼ばれ、 医学的には死に等しい状態である。感染してからゾンビに至るまでには個体差があるが、 遅くても１週間、 早くて即日。この状態を治療する方法はまだ見つかっていない。
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file:"Eradication Operation Notes"
- ↑ Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999), file: "Reporter's Memo"
- ↑ BIOHAZARD THE DARKSIDE CHRONICLES (2010), file: "Keikan zonbi"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Resident Evil (1996), file: "Keeper's Diary"
- ↑ Hamamura (ed.), Kaitai Shinsho, p.331
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Resident Evil 2 1998, file: "Watchman's Diary"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Resident Evil 2
- ↑ Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
- ↑ Resident Evil 2 (1998), file: "Film B"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Wesker's Report II, Part 2.
- ↑ Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999), file: "Manager's Diary".
- ↑ Resident Evil: Revelations (2012), file: "Botany Plants with Medicinal Properties - 3rd Edition"
- ↑ Resident Evil: Degeneration