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On planet Earth, the capital of the Earth Sphere in my universe, in the year 2127, the population has increased(in density per area) by about 410%, due to the discovery of "key" bridges- traversable tears in space-time. As a result, Humanity spread across dozens of planets.

Therein lies the problem.

There is a spore-based virus, that had lied dormant for billions of years, that was released when the humans landed on that planet. It got taken back to Earth when the colony ship returned.

Now it's on Earth, an ecumanopolis with a population of 31 billion people.

The virus has the following symptoms:

  • Deep purple rashes
  • Coughing up purple, blobby blood
  • Rapid decomposition of limbs
  • Bone and muscle growths(external)
  • Sporous growths on the body
  • Brain failure
  • Insanity

It also has an incubation time of 3 weeks, the time until death 5 weeks. The equivalent of CDC is about the same efficiency as modern time, with maybe about a 150% increase in effectiveness.

How fast would it be before the entire planet was infected?

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  • $\begingroup$ Well it depends how virulent it is doesn't it? And it seems highly unlikely that a deadly human virus would lay dormant on a planet with no humans and almost certainly a very different biochemistry. $\endgroup$ – Slarty Dec 13 '19 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Slarty It is a virus that doesn't only affect humans. It affects all species, but it was on a planet that it killed all the species $\endgroup$ – A Can of Beans Dec 13 '19 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ It also depends on the length of time between infection and becoming infectious, how long between infection and symptoms showing, how long between symptoms showing and death and how good the authorities are at dealing with epidemics and isolating infected individuals. I'd say we can't tell form the information provided. $\endgroup$ – Slarty Dec 13 '19 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ If it killed all of the species then it would go extinct $\endgroup$ – Slarty Dec 13 '19 at 16:05
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Scenario 1:

  1. Colonists are infected.

  2. Colony ship returns to earth. It is not the first rodeo for the Colonial Authority, and returning colonists undergo medical exam and quarantine pending medical clearance.

  3. Even though the colonists only have early symptoms, medical tests show there is clearly something wrong. They remain in quarantine, served by robots.

  4. Infectious material is destroyed. The space virus is contained.


Scenario 2.

  1. Colonists are infected.

  2. Colonists skip quarantine because it is Drinking Day and everyone on earth is wasted.

  3. Colonists infect their contacts.

  4. First colonists develop symptoms and present for medical attention. Everyone is sober now and medical personnel realize this is something bad.

  5. Colonists are recalled and put into quarantine. Contacts are ascertained and put into quarantine.

  6. As the nature of the infection becomes clear, medical authorities are on the lookout for cases. In cities with a case, the entire city is quarantined.

  7. People in quarantine cities stay in their houses. Gowned workers or robots bring food to houses.

  8. If a person with a rash is seen wandering around in a quarantine city, he or she is captured and brought to care. Inability to breathe because of coughing up blood and degenerating limbs make it difficult for these people to escape.

  9. 5 weeks after the last infected person dies, the infection has run its course and there are no live persons infected. Areas inhabited or contaminated by infected persons are sterilized with caustic chemicals, disassembled and incinerated. The authorities are aware this virus was dormant but infective on the planet where it was encountered and that this could happen on earth,.

  10. Research on this infection is carried out and an effective vaccine devised.

  11. Subsequent infections (from contact with undiscovered infectious material) is addressed by vaccinating all persons in the area.

  12. Samples of infection are developed as a bioweapon to be used against alien adversaries in the future.

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what could work better is if it is some kind of fungus, that grows and spreads rapidly, and doesn't need a host. But also such that the spores are toxic, although the side effects of it aren't noticeable in small doses. Which is how wandering people on planets were the fungus exists, (or ships that happen through a cloud of spores in space? Perhaps from another ship that was infected then destroyed)

could get spores on them and bring them back to a home world and the spores would then become active, spreading and growing. Producing copious amounts of spores, at such levels that the side effects

On planet Earth, the capital of the Earth Sphere in my universe, in the year 2127, the population has increased(in density per area) by about 410%, due to the discovery of "key" bridges- traversable tears in space-time. As a result, Humanity spread across dozens of planets.

Therein lies the problem.

There is a spore-based virus, that had lied dormant for billions of years, that was released when the humans landed on that planet. It got taken back to Earth when the colony ship returned.

Now it's on Earth, an ecumanopolis with a population of 31 billion people.

The virus has the following symptoms:

Deep purple rashes Coughing up purple, blobby blood Rapid decomposition of limbs Bone and muscle growths(external) Sporous growths on the body Brain failure Insanity

Would take place

Given the rate of growth of the fungus, and how many spores they would create in this scenario, (especially if the infected are basically walking spore machines) and assuming a dense population and a society where the cleanliness of public spaces is on par with the real world, the spread would be so rapid that it would probably be able to wipe out a good 30-70% of the population in a few months? (4-12) but in that time the remaining population would have evacuated, or set up stronghold cities, quarantined from the rest of the planet while they wait for evac ships

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I know this is a totally different idea than what the question asked, but this idea might prove useful to you: In Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, the main characters come to a long-abandoned planet, once home to humans, now a ruin. The atmosphere has been almost completely stripped away on this planet. One of the characters finds some moss>evidence of life!

When the character returns into the airlock on his ship, he notices that a piece of moss was on his suit, and growing rapidly. He quickly reopens the airlock, letting all the air out. He brushes off the moss. And blasts off the planet.

What happened here is: the moss had survived in an atmosphere with a fraction of normal density, so it had been getting by on about 1% the oxygen a normal plant needs. When it went into the airlock, it was suddenly exposed to quantities of oxygen that humans are used to. Suddenly, the moss has a couple hundred times the normal oxygen level, and begins growing with tremendous speed.

Now, your virus need not necessarily have such precise and detailed interaction with human biochemistry to be destructive. Life as we know it needs water to exist. This virus (or parasite, fungus, whatever) could have been getting by on a barren world with a minute quantity of water. But, humans and other Earth-borne creatures, being made of 70% water, are a goldmine for this organism. If a single spore/cell gets into the human bloodstream it immediately begins to expand inside the human body, ripping the water from our cells, making us like prunes before exploding violently as our skin is stretched to the limit by the expanding fungus. This explosion causes more spores to be violently ejected into the air, infecting surrounding creatures and latching onto surfaces with even a tiny amount of water. Boom. Instant world-ending plague.

How did this fungus come back to Earth? Well, one characteristic this fungus has is that its growth is extremely slowed by frigid temperatures or lack of available water content. When the first explorers of this world arrived, perhaps they were sealed in their suits, which prevented the fungus from being exposed to any water, allowing it to slip past our defenses.

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