"He's been turned blue, and he's gone completely rigid. It's that time of the year again, we've finally found another one dead of Freezing Sickness."
Transmission & Vectors
The disease seems to spread at random, almost like its victims are being chosen instead of a natural spread. Contact with someone infected is considered risky, however, and is to be avoided, although it does not seem to cause it to spread to the person all the time. It does happen however, often much later in life, and it only appears to infect those who were already in contact with someone who was infected. Why this is the case nobody knows.
The cause is unknown. Some believe it is Nuti's doing, but cases seem to affect anyone at random, even the few followers he has. Two can be infected yet they can be miles apart, and nobody within a foot of them could end up ill after they pass. It often strikes unexpectedly as well, which makes is hard to guess a way in which someone becomes infected. Those in frequent contact with an infected person, however, seem to become infected without fail but much later in life.
A lack of ability to feel warmth, and it slowly moves on into fatigue and migraines as well as intense shivering. In its later stages, appetite loss and hearing/vision loss are also common, as well as bodily seizing. They eventually become so cold their body itself starts to freeze from the inside out, leading to death.
There are no ways to subdue or heal the Freezing Sickness. Once one is infected, they will die.
The person begins by simply not being able to warm up. They will feel no temperature increase in even the thickest clothing or in a warm room. Not even being burned triggers a response. After two days or so, the person will begin to experience a splitting migraine as well as constant yet mild shivering. They will constantly feel cold, and they will also become a bit fatigued and lose appetite. Their fingers will often begin to turn light blue as if they were experiencing frostbite. This is the point where the disease is first able to spread. After a week and a half, they will be extremely exhausted and fatigued. They will be in extreme pain. Their migraine now is causing ringing in their ears, and as they move, their joints seem to lock up. Their body begins to shiver intensely, the person looking like they are quaking in fear. They lack any form of appetite, not even eating unless provoked. Their skin has now overall gone light blue. Two and a half weeks after infection is the last and fatal stage of the disease. They will be put into a hazy state, barely able to remain conscious or awake. They have so little appetite they often do not eat or drink for days at a time. Their migraine is so bad even when they are awake they've gone partially blind and deaf. They feel extreme pain in every single part of their body. They are constantly seizing as their body tries to warm itself up but to no avail. The internal cavities are beginning to freeze, causing a cold burning sensation from within the infected's body. It does not take long after this point for them to die, as their heart and brain become frozen and fail to function. The disease is always lethal and has no remedy.
The disease has and can infect anyone. Health or status notwithstanding, it can and will kill.
Once the sickness is noticed, it is best to avoid all contact with the person. There have been indications of it spreading through contact before, and even though it is not guaranteed, it is best to avoid taking chances. Sometimes, after first noticing they are infected, they kill themselves.
The condition seems to begin in random individuals and only makes it through a few people (usually just a single household) before it burns out, due to its slow killing time and easy to notice effects. The disease often takes long periods of time to manifest before the symptoms come into play.
The disease has been with the Qimmiriukiat since they began. It has infected and will infect at least one person in one town every year, and has claimed the lives of many.
Anyone who is claimed to have the disease is immediately isolated. It is a common fear that they will cause an outbreak if they enter the public and touch anything, so it is best for the person to simply rest and go peacefully within their own home. Because of the high correlation between those who were in contact and then got infected later, it is believed that preventing them from the outside world is best. The disease is prevalent enough where even being cold is seen as mildly suspicious to most people.
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