Super Rabies Lyssavirus (SRLV1) is a neuroinvasive virus contracted by warm-blooded animal populations. There is no known cure or vaccination and is absolutely fatal to the host once in advanced stages. The initial outbreak destroyed 1/3 of the human population during the first year, devastating densely populated areas and poor regions. It has been given a variety of common use names such as Super Rabies, Pandora's Plague, Pestilent Plague, and Apocalypse Plague, the latter two being especially popular among religious groups and conspiracy theorists.
Early stage symptoms are flu-like with malaise, body aches, fever, chills, and headache which eventually go latent until the late stages. This period of latency is call “Trojanic Lapse”. Late stages manifest as acute pain, unexplainable aggression, mania, depression, hydrophobia, light sensitivity, lethargy, uncontrollable drooling, or euphoria.
SRLV1 travels to the brain in the same way that normal rabies does with the exception that SRLV1 goes latent for a period of time once it reaches the Central Nervous System (CNS).
The first outbreak of SRLV1 occurred in March 2006 and over the course of 16 months reduced human population by one-third. Continuous outbreaks of SRLV1 continue to reduce overall human population prompting worldwide counter-reactions.
The source animal, or animals, for SRLV1 are unknown due to censorship by the Chinese government regarding the area at the epicenter of outbreak. It is believed that the local people were forced into hunting bats for food and contracted the virus this way. There is also some research to suggest that SRLV1 is a hyperstrain of Mokola Rabies and was transmitted by infected mosquitoes who hybridized a new strain from feasting on bats infected with another form of rabies but this research has not been verified. The first known case was announced March 3, of 2006
Due to migrant workers, poor living conditions, little health care, human trafficking, and a slow response by officials, the disease spread to the cities where crowded living conditions exacerbated the spread of the disease. Hysteria quickly spread throughout the country and people were attempting a mass exodus out of the country while the Chinese government scrambled to control civil unrest and coordinate quarantine measures.
SRVL1 quickly spread to the surrounding countries and by May, the pandemic was announced and every country had at least one known case. Although, Oceania completely closed their borders early on during the outbreak, miniature episodes occurred but were completely stamped out and isolated only to the major cities. Global authorities responded quickly by similarly enacting severe immigration regulations and regulations on imports and exports, as it was believed that insects were the carriers based on the report from Chinese officials.
In April, it was announced that domestic animals were not immune to SRLV1 even if they had been properly immunized from the common strain. Some animals showed a treatable resistance to the new strain but inconsistent data could not confirm that immunized animals were safe. Millions of pet owners worldwide were asked to voluntarily put down elderly and sick animals as they could pose a health risk. Animal rights groups protested the move fervently but a rise in vigilante pet assassinations were committed by concerned citizens and no kill shelters and county animal shelters were banned in the US and Canada July 22, 2006 as the death toll continued to rise into the tens of millions. New animal control legislation made a new federal department in the US and all animal adoptions and control issues were handled by the government.
November 30th, a study by a coalition of scientist from around the world believed that the disease was human manufactured due to irregularities in the viral RNA structure that could not occur by a hybridization in mosquito gut or by the simple mutation of any of the previously known lyssaviruses. They're study also suggested that the disease was for the first time not primarily zoonotic (transmitted by animal to human contact) but rather anthroponotic (transmitted by human to animal contact) furthering the suspicion that the disease was lab-made.
In the latter part of the year, SRLV1 had devastated global cattle and and horse populations in the domestic sector. There was a proposes additional 20 million deaths as a part of food shortages caused by this and stringent regulation on food export by first world countries. Human rights activist called 2006 the 'year the world imploded' commenting on the protectionist laws and sudden rise in nationalism caused by common beliefs that the disease was spread by immigrants.
Companies, such as Ziggurat, Inc, 'specializing in private security against biothreats' made millions in the creation of gated communities called "Oases" which were self-contained units completely able to separate from the rest of society. The largest Oases sprang up in Dubai, UAE and attracted wealthy families from all over the world. The "Shangri-La Oasis" eventually separated from the UAE completely leading a movement of "extraction" in Oases the world over. Oases were banned in the US due to Constitutionality issues but several continue to exists as private neighborhoods under government control and regulation.
By mid-2007, 34% of the human population had died and for the first time in modern history, the death rate exceeded the birth rate for humanity. Rodents, cold-blooded animals, and sea-mammals seem the least affected by SRLV1 and measures have had to be taken by governments and activists to curb over fishing and hunting of these animals as fear of store-bought meat and produce soared.
In January of 2007, a leading geneticist in Point Grey, Vancouver, Dr. Ryan Chada had mentioned he had discovered a possible weak point in SRLV1's genetic structure but later succumbed to the virus leaving his findings a mystery.
Signs and Symptoms
Like common rabies, symptoms may not show immediately after initial infection. It can take 2 weeks to two years for the early stage symptoms to manifest. Post-Trojanic Lapse stage symptoms can include dementia, partial paralysis, schizotypical behavior, and severe hydrophobia. Death can occur in 48-72 hours.
There's a 2% survival rate with severe brain damage and a .05% survival rate with no lasting or significant side effects.
Post-mortem brain cultures are the most reliable source of diagnosis. Skin, saliva, and cerebrospinal samples have been used with limited success but only in 25% of cases.
Because SRLV1 mimics common rabies, the flu, and several mental disorders, differential diagnosis can be very difficult and a number of false-positives have been made, making diagnosis unreliable without lab data to support it. Most suspected cases are quickly isolated and run through a battery of tests such as stress, blood work, and urine samples to trigger symptoms like drooling or paralysis.
Special hospitals have been developed to specifically isolate and treat SRLV1 patients.
Limiting contact with human saliva or animal saliva, has been suggested as the best way to prevent human to human infection. Avoiding bites of any kind and limiting contact with stray animals has also been suggested.
While there is much controversy over whether or not mosquitos are carriers, avoiding mosquito infested areas and bites is suggested. If a person suspects they may have SRLV1, the Center for Disease Control suggests immediate medical attention and Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP. It is possible to treat SRLV1 before the first symptoms appears but most people are not aware that they've been exposed until it is too late. However, the increase of PEP clinics have made it possible to catch an increasing number of cases and prevent another devastating wave.
The Milwaukee Protocol of inducing coma in patients and delivering doses of powerful drugs continues to have the best post-symptom treatment success but as in common rabies, it does not guarantee survival. Several Milwaukee Protocol patients are still in comas, including Dr. Chada, even though the disease has left their bodies.
Credit to Reiks for work on SRLV1.