Spring Sickness Plot
In April 2017, a mysterious disease spread through 'Souls!
Spring took its time coming to Eastern Canada this year. March saw overcast skies and cold weather more often than not. Still, as April rolled in, temperatures climbed rapidly and plants began to flower and green — and in some places, so did the water…
Wet and warm weather provided a perfect breeding ground for fungus and algae. Areas of low ground, especially those near water, were quickly covered in a new growth. Unfortunately, this year’s spring renewal introduced a strange bacteria, causing an illness which spread quickly.
An unknown illness caused by rampant bacterial growth in the wetlands spread throughout Nova Scotia and surrounding areas. Its infection vector is unknown, but did not seem to be airborne. In addition to affecting canines, it also seemed to affect most wildlife and livestock, including herd animals, other mammals, and fish. Birds seemed the least affected.
Symptoms manifested as any of the following, often in combination. Extremely young and old were more vulnerable, and chronic conditions might remain.
- Fever & shivering
- Loss of appetite, weight loss & vomiting, possibly with blood
- Rapid dehydration
- Eye discharge
- Difficulty breathing (e.g., coughing, wheezing and other unusual breathing sounds)
- Sore muscles & stiffness in muscles, legs, stiff gait
- Dark red speckled gums (petechiae)
- Runny nose & swelling of the mucous membrane / lymph nodes
For the most part, the illness itself did not seem to be necessarily fatal. However, symptoms could become extremely severe in younger, older, smaller, or otherwise weaker individuals, which, if left untreated, could lead to death. For example, some livestock with severe appetite loss eventually died of starvation.
Eventually, constant rain hit at the end of April, followed by a dry spell in mid May. This culled back the rampant bacterial growth, and as areas dried out, the effects of the illness lessened gradually.
- 10 Apr: Steady rain begins and the area grows warm and wet.
- 15 Apr: Canines and other animals begin to exhibit symptoms of the illness.
- 20 Apr: The illness is in full swing.
- 1 May: The wet weather gradually comes to a stop, and those first (surviving) infected begin to recover.
- 10 May: The dry spell soaks up the excess moisture in the land, and most of the surviving infected have recovered by now.