Transmission & Vectors
It is widely known that a bite from a therianthrope will infect a victim, but recent research has shown that any contact between therianthrope parasites and mucous membranes can result in therianthropy.
A parasitic spirit which latches onto the host's and slowly takes over, killing the host and controlling the body.
Early symptomsEarly symptoms are limited to a scratch or bite at the infection site, an elevated temperature, headache, joint pain, and irritability.
Late symptomsOnce the infection is established, symptoms include short-term memory loss, night terrors, hallucinations, formication (a sensation that resembles insects crawling on or under the skin), mood swings, aggression, depression, and silver allergy.
Application of silver is a treatment with a long record of success, but requires the infection to become established before it can be treated, and may result in the patient requiring lifelong treatment to prevent progression. In this case, upon death, the patient's remains should be treated as any active case.
More recently, 'spirit of silver' (distilled alcohol and noumenal silver) has shown great success in treating even early infections. It is applied topically, flushing the wound, but treatment must be continued for one full lunarHjúki cycle
If left untreated, the patient loses control of their body, entering into increasingly frequent fuge states where they come fully under the parasite's control and adopt behavioural characteristic of the creature that bit them. In the even this is a sapient being, the behaviour reflects that of last non-sapient host.
Eventually, the host fails to reassert control and the parasite becomes dominant. In this state, the parasite will attempt to propgate the infection through increasingly violent attacks, heedless of the damage caused to the host.
With conventional treatment, the infection can be contained and a moderate-to-fair quality of life can be expected, with periodic reocurrance of symptoms but no progression. However, the patient remains a carrier, and capable of spreading the infection, and practical quality of life is often poor, with the best case scenario being voluntary relocation to a therianthrope colony.
If applied as directed, clinical studies of the spirit of silver treatment indicate a complete elimination of the parasite, with no lingering effects in early-stage infections. Late-stage treatment appears to eliminate the parasite, but damage to the host's nervous and noumenal systems remain. Conventional teatments have not been completely successful in restoring these faculties, and the damage may be considered permanent.
No known prophylactics