Lunghack is an ailment of the lungs that affects the respiration and breathing of an individual. The name comes from the prolonged coughing and hacking as the individual tries to take air into their damaged and mineral filled lungs. This disease is often found among the miners in remote, dry, dusty, environments.
Transmission & Vectors
This illness is acquired by breathing in the mineral particulates found in the salt mines of Drysdale and similar dry, dusty environments. In addition to the salt, other corrosive materials that are pounded into dust and are quite often breathed into the lungs.
The minerals slowly build up in the lungs of the individual, physically blocking airways and chemically burning the delicate linings of the lungs. Over time this damage causes great respiratory issues.
Symptoms start almost immediately with small coughs, then after a few days a small amount of phlegm may be produced in the throat, then larger coughs for a few days. Afterwards, the diaphragm is overworked and hacking coughs develop as the lungs try to simultaneously expel the minerals in them and also try to pull in the needed fresh air.
A breakthrough treatment was created by Clararton Bartolara about 200 years ago in the salt mining town of Drysdale. Upon undergoing the Inverted Lungflush And Purge Procedure, patients can expect a full recovery. She also created a specialized fine filtering Hydromask, in order to prevent particulates from being inhaled into the lungs in the first place.
Despite the pain and suffering of this illness it is not directly life threatening. Conditions will continue to worsen over time with the affects becoming more drastic. The continuous coughing and hacking leave the individual in a perpetual weakened state that usually results first in job loss, and then with no income, loss of residence and eviction, then living on the street they usually turn to desperate measures of begging or stealing. Slow starvation is common as is being caught and jailed, or beaten or killed by those that the individual was trying to steal from.
All races and species are susceptible to Lunghack, as it damages the respiratory system through physical particles entering the lungs. Notably those that work long hours in dry mines without proper masks historically see higher rates of the disease. The Drysdale salt miners are the most well known of the afflicted. Amphibian humanoids are generally more susceptible due to their more moist and delicate lung structures. Reptilian and avian humanoids are usually more resistant due to their tougher and drier lung structures. While many races do contract the ailment, it is noteworthy that there are no known instances of any dwarves developing the illness.
Hosts & Carriers
While any animal species can potentially develop the disease, it is not contagious and therefore there are no known hosts or carriers.
People can prevent this disease by wearing proper masks in the mine site and washing and bathing after work in order to remove the particulates that cover them from the job. Clararton Bartolara's Hydromask is known to be 100% effective against Lunghack.
This condition cannot be transmitted from person to person. The only way to get it is from repeated inhalation of the particles found in the mine.
Nearly all identifiable Lunghack cases have been found in and around the salt mining town of Drysdale. This illness has existed there since just after the opening of the salt mines. Despite so many people coming down with the disease, the high pay and constant demand has created a steady supply of miners flocking to the town for work. While masks, protective equipment, and regulations have been in place since the beginning, they have only slightly reduced the number of afflicted individuals. However, about 200 years ago, in 547 A.S., Clararton Bartolara and “The Matrons Of Life” created the Inverted Lungflush And Purge Procedure to cure those who had developed Lunghack as well as invented a fine filter Hydromask in order to prevent any further cases from developing. Since this time, very few cases have been recorded here and those that have been, are attributed to improper wear, broken equipment, or mask refusal.
Outsiders tend to view the infected as someone to be avoided as they don't know exactly what disease that person might have. However many people living in the community have seen many cases of this ailment year after year and usually know the cause of the illness is from working in the mines and feel sympathetic to their pain and try to help as they can.
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