Transmission & Vectors
Durring the final stages of the infection, the thick stone like callouses on the patients body will crack apart and flake, releasing the spores to be carried through the air. These spores are short lived, only lasting about an hour outside of a host body, but will almost immediately infect any exposed skin that they land on in that time frame. It is at this point that most victims succumb to the disease. The body will continue to give off spores as it decomposes. Quarantine of the affected premises is highly advised..
Stoneskin infection can be carried in the body for a period of time ranging from a few months to almost a decade, depending on the victims health and other environmental factors. The initial symptoms are small areas of rough skin, usually on the extremities. Most cases are passed off a callouses or some other skin condition. There is no outward detriment to the infected, allowing them to continue with their lives unhindered. Durring this stage, the infection builds up in the body before erupting into the second stage. Here, the small callouses rapidly expand and harden, gaining a rough stone like texture that gives the disease its name. This lithification is so rapid that stories of victims waking up to petrified limbs when they were fine the night before are not uncommon among the victims. From here the body will harden until breathing becomes impossible and the victim suffocates.
Stoneskin can be treated fully if caught within the first stage of the infection. Apothecaries or alchemists in most major cities will know the proper potions and tinctures to deal with this. However, if the infection proceeds into its second stage, rapid lithification, there is no known cure.
Caught before the second stage, most patients make a full recovery. If allowed to progress, the disease is fatal.
Clothing designed to cover the whole body, made of thick, or particle resistant material are usually enough to prevent infection when working with infected bodies. These should be immediately disposed of after use. Burning of Infected bodies is highly discouraged because of the possibility of further spore spread. Bodies should be buried in deep, clearly marked graves.
In civilized areas, the infection is most commonly spread through improper burial of the diseased body.
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