Hyphulus

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Hyphulus is an infectious disease caused by microbial bacteria that spread throughout the planet and killed almost a quarter of the population of Trapeñia in 2713. At this time, the Trapeñians were still living off of the land in small communities, and in small dwellings called Yerrts. Yerrts had dirt floors and the walls and ceilings were built from Cristilon trees. This disease was spread by an insect called the Pryn which lived in the Cristilon trees. The Pryn were in hibernation in the wood until 13 years after the dwellings were created. On the 13th year, the insect awoke and migrated out of the wood, infesting the land, destroying crops, and biting the Trapeñians. The disease transmitted by the Pryn’s bites was foreign, so there was no resistance to the illness.

Symptoms

Stage 1

A rash that covers the body which later develops into boils. The infection manifests slowly, so one may not know they are infected for several days. The boils soon fill with puss and explode violently. Anyone in direct contact with the fluid of the boils will be infected with Hyphulus.

Stage 2

Tremors of the body manifest, which start from the toes and move upward. The shaking is so violent that the patient is unable to participate in everyday activities. This stage lasts 48 hours.

Stage 3

Often referred to as the sleep. The patient will fall into a comatose state, from which they cannot be woken. When the patient is comatose, their heart rate and internal temperature drop extremely low, as if they are dead. This state lasts exactly 24 hours, and is broken by the patient violently reanimating. When this happens, their heart rate spikes, and their body once again reaches the correct temperature.

Stage 4

Extreme dehydration and loss of blood. When the internal temperature and heart rate starts to increase after the sleep, they do not stop increasing. The internal temperature reaches such high levels that all of the fluids in the body are burned up by the heat generated, making the patient extremely dehydrated. The heart rate increases to such a level that the patient goes into cardiac arrest. However, because of extremely high internal temperature, the blood starts to boil. The patient cannot be resuscitated because there is no blood left in the body. This last stage lasts for 12 hours, and is the most painful because the patient is subject to the symptoms of dehydration and a high fever.

Transmission

Hyphulus can only be spread by the bite of the Pryn, and by contact to the blood of infected people. Since the rash of the first stage is not immediately serious, the infected person could travel to other places before they know that they have this disease, spreading it to other parts of Trapeñia. There were four waves of infection as illustrated in the figure below. The initial manifestation began in East Trapeñia, and the first wave was caused by the fist infestation of the Pryn insects, causing the area surrounding the point of origin to become infected. Before the disease was identified, citizens travelled to other regions to sell their goods, further infecting others and creating the second wave. The third wave was caused by three other Pryn infestations, spreading it further West. The Fourth Wave was caused by the migration of the Pryn to the final corner of Trapeñia. Due to the humid climate, the disease did not spread to the coast because the humidity was harmful to the Pryn.

Impact

The population in 2713 was close to 1.5 million, and Hyphulus killed 23% of the people on Tryptpch, decreasing the population to around 1,155,000 people. The infectious disease mainly impacted the adult male population, because the chance of being bitten by the Pryn was higher when working outside in the fields, but women were also impacted during the care of the infected patients. This great dying significantly impacted the genetic diversity of the population of Trapeñia by wiping out over half of the available genetic options. This means that a large portion of the present population can trace their lineage back to the same place.

Prevention and Vaccination

Eventually the Trapeñians noticed that Hyphulus manifested after the bite of the Pryn insect. Since the Pryn travel in swarms, they created a warning system to alert citizens of the swarms entry into the area. Every field and town had a man watching for the black cloud on the horizon, and if he saw it, he would give a horn three short blasts. At the sound of this signal, everyone would run to cover inside new houses, makeshift structures in fields, and jump into lakes, because of the Pryn’s aversion to water and humidity. With this system, the number of infected people dropped dramatically. After a year of terror from the Pryn, they went back into hibernation within the Cristilon wood that the had made up the Yerrts. The citizens since had built new houses that were not made of this material. In the effort of eradicating the insect, these Yerrts were burned, killing most of the Pryn species. The Pryn hibernate for 70 years, then reawaken and migrate across the country in the same way. In 2784, the few that were left woke from their hibernation and started feeding on the population again. However, Gary Harris, a Microbiologist, had been experimenting with the hibernating insect, and used the microbial bacteria housed in the Pryn to create a vaccine for Hyphulus. He also discovered from reading accounts of the past that the pryn were harmed by humidity and water. He created a way to bottle humidity and water into an aerosol can, and that way, the Pryn could be repelled, and even killed. In the past 100 years, there have only been 12 reported cases of Hyphulus, because of the vaccine and Pryn repellent. The population is required every 70 years to get the vaccine before the Pryn reemerge. However, the Pryn population has dwindled so much that they are easily prevented and monitored. If someone is infected, they are quickly isolated to prevent the spread of the disease. Although the vaccine to prevent the disease exists, Hyphulus is 100% fatal. Scientists are still searching for a cure.