t-Virus infection (known to some members of the public as the "Cannibal disease") is a contagious disease experienced by a wide range of life forms, from humans to plants, caused by the t-Virus.
Generally, t-virus infection can be diagnosed in humans early on, with symptoms appearing mere days after initial contact. Jill Valentine, after two days of being infected, stated that she didn't feel any pain upon awakening. However, she went on to say "If I can't feel anything, then what does that mean?" which may suggest a sense of numbness, though this is unconfirmed. Other than experiencing this lack of pain, Jill displayed no symptoms whatsoever before being given a vaccine. On average, the virus takes anywhere between a day and a week for the infected person to fully transform.[excerpt 1]
One of the first symptoms is also one of the more-visible - the skin begins to swell. Continuing onward, the infected skin actively begins to decompose, despite the victim remaining alive - flesh may fall off entirely as part of autoamputation. People normally complain of a terrible itch or discomfort. The body may exhibit Pallor mortis, the end of capillary circulation, as suggested by Thomas' description as appearing "like the walking dead". However, this was not seen on Marvin Branagh until he had already transformed into a zombie. A fever, or other ill-feeling is also one possible symptom.
In cases where the virus infects its victim over a longer period of time (a week, rather than a day), their loss of sanity can be seen to slowly-degrade. As observed with the Arklay Laboratory's animal keeper, seven days after initially-displaying symptoms, his mental capacity dropped significantly. While still able to write for the time-being, his sense of grammar was lost. On his May 19 entry, he reported to have consumed "doggy food" to satisfy his appetite. Two days later, his mental capacity degraded further, and he murdered his friend Scott in order to consume him.
Sticking on the subject of appetite, the desire of consuming flesh grows heavily. Along with the keeper's consumption of dog food, Thomas became fixated on meat, displaying the tendency to constantly talk about food.
Whether dead or simply unconscious while experiencing the aforementioned "signs of death", the infected individual will eventually regain consciousness and seek to consume flesh; with their intelligence gone, they have been reduced to going only by the need to consume flesh.
Animals exposed to the t-virus showed varying symptoms, from increased aggressiveness to excessive food consumption. The Raccoon Zoo's elephant keeper noted that Oscar, the zoo's elephant began to behave strangely prior to the Raccoon City Incident; especially when the keepers tried to feed the elephant.
The disease is not endemic to any part of the globe, but as of the 21st century it has been widely-available in the bio-weapons black market, allowing it to be used in, virtually, any part of the world.
The chances of a human bitten by a t-Virus carrier (specifically a zombie) to be infected was 90% in the 1980s, though it is unknown if the Arklay Laboratory team (or any other branches in the virological bio-weapons project, for that matter) succeeded in increasing the chances of infection to Umbrella CEO Oswell E. Spencer's satisfaction. The lack of infection when Rebecca Chambers was bitten by an Eliminator could suggest that she was lucky enough to be naturally immune, or simply that t-Virus failed to enter her body when she was bitten.
No person has been observed to naturally fight off the virus, and so the body's counteractions to infection are not fully known. People have been injected with antibodies that fight off the t-Virus, though the means of their creation is not widely-understood.
The virus' secondary means of infection is through contact with another virus carrier - direct fluid transmission. The virus does not appear to infect people when it only makes contact with the epidermis, and so must enter a body in some manner to lead to an infection - biting is the most common modes that humans will spread the infection, as it allows infected saliva to enter a wound in some amount. Another means of infection may lie in the pollution of drinking water - it is believed that the epidemic in Raccoon City began rapidly in September because of such an infection.
The virus can change modes of transmission from waterborne to physical contact depending on its environment. As such, transmission can be prevented by avoiding any direct contact with t-Virus carriers and drinking from uninfected water (e.g. water bottles already filled before pollution).
A number of vaccines have been developed independently to counter the t-Virus. Unfortunately, three of them only succeeded in being manufactured when the Raccoon City epidemic was at its peak, and so were only used on a few people.
As no one has been seen to naturally heal from a t-Virus infection, it is highly-likely that infection cannot be treated without the immediate injection of a vaccine. Chemicals from anti-viral tablets and First Aid Sprays can be used when scratched to limit the chance of infections. The "Green Herb", a plant native to the Arklay Mountains, is observed to have a beneficial effect on the healing of wounds as well as the treatment of infection, including viruses, by boosting-up the immune system. The herb's properties are well known, and people are encouraged by some to stock up on them.
Concluding from above, the t-Virus, with its high-infection rate and horrendous life-prospects among the infected, is highly-dangerous. It is because of the deadly properties that makes it so popular among bio-terrorists. As no cure is known for those who have succumbed to the virus, anti-bioterror operations have resorted to euthanize them, seen in the attack on the Harvardville International Airport in 2005, where elements of the U.S. Marine Corps were sent in to exterminate the carriers.
See also: C-Virus
There is a similar virus called the C-Virus which creates zombies similar to "t" zombies, developed by Carla Radames. There are many differences which make the C-Virus more dangerous; the infected retain most of their intelligence, they rapidly mutate when injured, and are capable of using weapons. Certain creatures like J'avo or Ustanak can speak and understand human languages, allowing them to orchestrate organized attacks. This virus were being used by the terrorist group Neo Umbrella in the Global Bioterror Attacks.
- ↑ Excerpt from Kaitai Shinsho, p.331:
"「人体に起こる一般的症状」 初期症状としてかゆみを覚え、 空腹感が増し、 皮膚の壊死やうっ血が見られる。時間経過とともに意識混濁を不定期に起こすようになり、 理性を失う。未期になると全身がただれ、 命あるものの肉を欲して徘徊をはじめる。この段階の感染体は「ゾンビ」と呼ばれ、 医学的には死に等しい状態である。感染してからゾンビに至るまでには個体差があるが、 遅くても１週間、 早くて即日。この状態を治療する方法はまだ見つかっていない。
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file:"Eradication Operation Notes"
- ↑ Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999), file: "Reporter's Memo"
- ↑ BIOHAZARD THE DARKSIDE CHRONICLES (2010), file: "Keikan zonbi"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Resident Evil (1996), file: "Keeper's Diary"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
- ↑ Hamamura (ed.), Kaitai Shinsho, p.331
- ↑ Resident Evil 2 (1998), file: "Film B"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Resident Evil 2
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Resident Evil 2 1998, file: "Watchman's Diary"
- ↑ Wesker's Report II
- ↑ Resident Evil: Revelations (2012), file: "Botany Plants with Medicinal Properties - 3rd Edition"
- ↑ Resident Evil: Degeneration