Virally Induced Toxic Allergy Syndrome

VITAS is a disease that reached pandemic status and claimed billions of lives in two outbreaks, first in 2010 and again in 2022. The first cases of VITAS were reported in India in 2010 and by the end of the year the disease had killed a quarter of the world's population. VITAS brought with it corresponding levels of panic and desperation, with healthy people resorting to drastic means to stay that way; entire sections of Mexico City were burned as a "safety precaution," in one of the most extreme cases. The second outbreak in 2022 killed another ten percent of the population. The disease temporarily halted race riots and other violence brought about by conflicts among humans and metahumans. A para-VITAS outbreak in 2046, believed to be the work of unidentified eco-terrorists, killed 120,000 in Tynesprawl, England.

Symptoms and Treatment

VITAS becomes evident 12 hours after initial exposure. Following incubation, initial symptoms include fever, chills, and vomiting. If unchecked, VITAS progresses into anaphylactic shock, with an increase in histamine levels causing bronchospasms and vasodilation. Most deaths occur from bronchoconstriction, leading to suffocation. Average individuals who are exposed to any strain of VITAS have the following approximate statistical likelihood of surviving, presuming drug therapies are on hand:

Humans, elves: 1:216. Orks: 1:72. Trolls, dwarfs: 1:36.

Humans and elves have a very high chance of being dead within 12 hours following initial exposure, due to the increased likelihood of succumbing immediately to the induced allergy. Orks and trolls, with their more robust constitutions, are much more likely to survive the initial onset of symptoms, as are dwarves with their innate resistance to toxins and pathogens.

A variety of treatments are available. Tetracycline was initially used against VITAS-1, these treatments gave way to more modern antivirals such as Zeta-Interferon, and have some effect at hindering the virus by interfering with viral reproduction. Subsequent strains are becoming more resistant to antiviral therapy, however. Antihistamines provide some relief to the symptoms.

Magical treatment greatly increases the chance of survival. It is believed to have been another factor in Amerind populations remaining unscathed from the disease. There is also evidence that native folk medicines helped stave off the infection in Africa.