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Questions tagged [diseases]

For questions related to a disorder (illness, disease and sickness) that affects the function or structure of an organism.

2
votes
4answers
91 views

How would a nanorobot disease be identified by a scientist

it's pretty straight forward, how could a scientist such as a doctor, identify that nano-robots are the cause of some disease without knowing what it is looking for ? It would somehow need to be by ...
5
votes
2answers
135 views

Minimum percentage of immune when epidemic lowers IQ in the 80's?

I have an epidemic of unknown origin spreading across the earth. The effects are decrease in cognitive ability to around 80+ IQ. So we have a surgeons who don't know how to operate, engineers who don'...
0
votes
3answers
212 views

Zombie infection is worse than imagined: how can humanity survive?

This plague takes some of the worst from every zombie movie you might have seen and puts it together. It's airborne and can survive for a week in the air, and it is transmitted to humans through all ...
5
votes
3answers
229 views

Making a Plague Worse?

Starting in 541–542 AD, the Plague of Justinian and a series of subsequent outbreaks killed between 13-26% of the world's population. The plagues were caused by Yersinia pestis, the same microorganism ...
-4
votes
2answers
180 views

“An Even Blacker Death”, This Time in the 21st Century [closed]

Long ago, I asked a question as to how the culture of Europe would be affected if, instead of one-quarter or half of medieval Europe's population got killed by the black death but two out of three or ...
0
votes
0answers
118 views

Would germs brought back in time by a time traveler threaten to kill the population of the past? [duplicate]

This question is in direct response to the early comments on my last question: Time traveler has identified a unknown epidemic is likely spread by mosquitos. How much can he help combat it? The ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Time traveler has identified a unknown epidemic is likely spread by mosquitos. How much can he help combat it?

In the world I'm envisioning, an individual has been accidently sent to a sort of alternate history version of the world, one that is at roughly feudal level of tech/culture, but with the nations ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Virus-like contagion with limited activity time

I'm looking for ideas for a highly contagious airborne biological weapon (virus, bacteria, other) that would kill its host in a matter of days to a week or so, but that, once all infected hosts are ...
3
votes
5answers
282 views

Disease that targets only teenagers

Would it be possible to have a disease that only affected people in a certain age group, more specifically, teenagers? And what would the virus be targeting?
30
votes
13answers
3k views

With future knowledge, can I prevent the Columbian Exchange epidemics?

I have traveled back to the 15th century with the goal of facilitating the discovery of the Americas by the rest of the world without causing epidemics to wipe out 90% of the American population. How ...
0
votes
2answers
122 views

Could this work as an epidemic?

Essentially, I have a virus which temporarily turns people into psychopaths. This virus is being used by my antagonists to collapse a city. I will be using a lysogenic virus which is triggered by ...
8
votes
7answers
705 views

Quarantine period for a new alien civilization found

Most science fiction stories and movies (from Star Trek to Close Encounters of the 3rd kind, ET, and many many others) assume one day we will eventually be able to contact physically the alien ...
11
votes
6answers
330 views

How could a seemingly-harmless virus become deadly at a predetermined date and time?

A secret group of environmentalist ultra-extremists has engineered a virus (or virus-like pathogen) with the purpose of making all of humanity extinct (yes, including themselves). They are aware that ...
-2
votes
2answers
101 views

Which current disease comes close enough to this one? [closed]

During the Second Cold War, the United States government teams up with the CDC and Atlas Biotech to create a disease powerful enough to wipe out whole countries. It has to fit all the set up criteria, ...
3
votes
5answers
316 views

Making a disease that makes you decompose while still alive?

So, before a large nuclear war engulfed the earth, the USA government ordered two private contractors, Gene-Tek and Atlas Biotech, to create a disease called Hyper Necrosis. It is supposed to make a ...
6
votes
2answers
109 views

How Predictable Is The Development Of Immunity To A Disease?

Diseases in nature tend to naturally become less virulent over time, in part, because the disease vector changes and in part because the host population develops immunity to it. How possible is it, ...
5
votes
6answers
712 views

A cure, a vaccine, and one tricky disease

FINAL UPDATE: Thank you for your amazing points and answers, everyone! I mixed up all your ideas and posted the final answer as a community wiki. So, I'm developing a bacterial infection where the ...
5
votes
10answers
437 views

How can androids suffer from a virus that spreads by contact

I'm toying with an idea to have a plague sweep across the galaxy in my story. At first I was thinking to have a plague, something similar to the Black Death, devastate populations across the galaxy. ...
3
votes
5answers
224 views

Human hybrids and prion diseases

How genetically different do my human-arthropod hybrid have to be to humans to not be at risk of prion diseases when eating humans? I don't want my monsters to eat a brain for a quick snack and then ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Any poisons that mimic Syphilis?

In my tabletop RPG story the wife of a rich noble killed her husband. Her story is that he cheated on her and when she told him that she knew, he tried to kill her and she only defended herself. ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Odds of survivability when encountering new bacteria in Earth-like planet's atmosphere? [duplicate]

So, let's say you have two planets in parallel universes. Travel is possible between Earth and the second planet via wormholes or whatever (not important). While the oxygen-nitrogen-et cetera ratios ...
8
votes
5answers
272 views

How can a pre-modern culture survive a sustained invasion accompanied by epidemics?

Assume the following situation: A pre-modern culture A exists on continent/island X with no previous contact with culture B (the invaders). Culture B discovers and invades X and the lands of A intend ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

Disease Impacts of Ancient Roman Contact with New World

In an alternate timeline, Ceasar lives, forges an alliance by marriage with Egypt and dominates the entire Mediterranean. He then performs a raft of economic and political reforms that basically skip ...
0
votes
2answers
142 views

What would happen if 90% of the population had learning problems [closed]

Lets say a terrorist group developed a prion or something similar that when it was introduced into a human brain caused things to start backfiring and rewiring. They released a large enough quantity ...
41
votes
11answers
10k views

Would time travelling to the present be lethal to a person from the 1200s?

John Smith is a time traveller from the year 2018, he goes back in time to the year 1200 and in the process falls in love with a woman of that era. He doesn't want to abandon her so he decides to ...
-3
votes
3answers
85 views

I need a situation where people are angry at a person for getting a stroke [closed]

I need this situation for starting up a story: Person A is loved by his surroundings and lives a generally good and healthy life. Person A gets a stroke and gets to the hospital, after 4 weeks, ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

Can a lack of diseases in the medieval period lead to overpopulation?

In the Middle Ages, it was necessary for a couple to have as many children as possible because many children died before reaching adult age. Much of this was due to rampant disease and lack of medical ...
8
votes
5answers
347 views

Magic is tied to the immune system. What happens to mages who overextend their abilities?

My magic system involves all organisms producing a sort of energy field that acts as their immune system. If someone casts "too big" a spell - draining too much of their energy and compromising their ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

How would industrial civilizations contacting each other for the first time protect themselves from diseases?

In a world big enough for human civilizations as knowledgeable about medicine as ours to develop without contacting each other, how could they initiate that contact without exposing each other to ...
1
vote
3answers
154 views

Feeding in a new world-what we can avoid? [closed]

Imagine that there is a possibility of starting all over again, and create a new world. At the food level what mistakes we could avoid making so there are not so many diseases? What foods should not ...
19
votes
10answers
4k views

How to keep a ship's crew healthy in a fantasy renaissance setting?

So, in the age of sail, there where hundreds of dangers lurking in ships, mostly in the form of sickness such as scurvy, and I'm looking for a way to have sailors in a similar technology level as ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

Single medical condition that causes hallucinations and bursts of short term memory loss

X sees hallucinations of a person A who he does not recognize, the hallucinations are constant (A follows X around all day) Simultaneously, X has bursts of memory loss, where he cannot remember up to ...
-4
votes
3answers
329 views

Is metal grafted straight under skin possible?

/Edit : so, I would like to create character which is supposed to have some metal grafted under his skin, but by under his skin I mean straight under, like a second layer. This is supposed to be like ...
-3
votes
3answers
166 views

Did we screw the evolution cycle with modern medicine? [closed]

Just to start I'm gonna clarify that I'm not a sadist or anything like that. My question is plain and simple. Did we screw the evolution cycle with modern medicine? This is not only important for our ...
23
votes
13answers
5k views

Mental condition that spreads through social contact

I'm making a mental condition that spreads through social contact. It is infectious, but having contact with someone who has it does not guarantee an infection. However, someone who is unwell might ...
9
votes
5answers
299 views

Transmissible diseases in a multi-species society

My world - basically Earth all along, unless told otherwise - is populated by humans and few fantasy-based "races" (actually, species - any interbreed offspring, if possible, is infertile): elves, ...
26
votes
23answers
6k views

Reasons for my dark ages world to have no horses at all

I am writing a fiction set in the 'dark ages', a pre-industrial, pre-gunpowder world. On Earth that would be no later than 800 AD, but this doesn't have to match Earth. There is no magic, and I won't ...
52
votes
30answers
14k views

Reasons why healthy people would intentionally want to get infected?

What would be a situation in modern times where normal, healthy people would want to get infected by a non-curable, but non-lethal, virus? A virus that would have pretty nasty symptoms. There is ...
7
votes
4answers
189 views

Scientific explanation for highly agressive infected

In a SciFi world I'm building with other people, we'd like to create a planet with an infection outbreak going on. There are wildlings. They are pretty primitive, have stone tools and wood houses. ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Seal off a modern town

Say I have a modern Era USA town. This town has a population of about 30,000 and an area of about 30 square miles (79.4 square km). It is a predominantly rural area, lots of farmland around the town. ...
1
vote
1answer
149 views

How to build a literal colossus of disease? [closed]

Say you're a single celled being with the following characteristics. Able to control disease based cells around it Human-level intelligence Virtually immortal You've been around for millennia. You'...
3
votes
3answers
182 views

Diseases related to 'life energy' in humans

As part of my magic system, the 'life force' is mostly a common 'supernatural' energy produced by most lifeforms (and some minerals can stock/deflect it). This energy allows humans and other human-...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

We have Altitude Sickness… but what about Depth Sickness? [closed]

Question inspired by Made in Abyss. So for whatever reason, our world has a large crater/hole tens of kilometers in diameter and maybe 100 km deep (maybe our world's crust is a little thicker, maybe ...
-2
votes
3answers
82 views

How can the world government stop this super-infection? [closed]

The non-specific super-fungi Deadlius Diseasus is spreading throughout the world. Actually, this disease is badly named: it doesn't kill anybody - it just infects them, then after a period of ~1 week, ...
27
votes
23answers
10k views

A realistic explanation of a typical Plague-inc “infect everyone before you start killing them” strategy

In Plague-inc the most typical strategy is trying to infect everyone, while staying hidden by not harming infected people (when a virus, bacteria, fungus is found, people start working on the cure). ...
-3
votes
2answers
396 views

What's the most damage I can do to a nation through only killing one person? [closed]

I have been told that I must cause as much damage possible to country A (size and population of Slovenia). I have unlimited funds as well as unlimited manpower. The nature of the damage is free to me, ...
20
votes
9answers
5k views

Real-life substance that causes humans to behave similar to Zombies

In my scenario, people behave after a certain "transformation" similar to Zombies. However they are not "undead", meaning that they cannot raise again after their body functions completely are out of ...
7
votes
3answers
402 views

Mass disease prevention: The feasibility of airborne vaccines

The Scenario: A technologically advanced mother culture wants to manage mass outbreaks of virulent disease in its technologically regressed colonies, who are inclined to resist most of what the mother ...
0
votes
1answer
366 views

What is this bacteria producing that is so sickly yellow?

An illness has been slowly spreading throughout the inhabitants of my agrarian society, decimating villages. The first sign of infection is the excessive production of slimy yellow saliva, and since ...
5
votes
3answers
264 views

Virus within a virus: possible?

Is it possible that there might be a virus (of the giant, ancient, frozen-in-glaciers type) that is, for lack of a better explanation, double-layered? As in the first layer affects the host and then ...