Viruses are assorted types of disease, infection or malady which can be contracted and spread around the station, distinct from those studied in pathology research. They often come into play via a number of different ways, from food to animal bites to even certain chemicals. Viruses can be detected by using a health analyzer on a person. The readout will indicate the name of the virus, whether it's asymptomatic, how it spreads, how far the infection has progressed, and what can be done to cure it.
While there are other obscure viruses (mostly limited to admin shenanigans), players are unlikely to encounter them during normal gameplay and they are therefore not included here.
In addition, some of these diseases can turn asymptomatic upon infection, meaning they will not manifest any symptoms, but can still spread if possible. Asymptomatic infectees will thus suffer none of the disease's ill effects so long as they continue to have it and can still be cured, although they may then catch a symptomatic strain of it and suffer its effects as usual.
|Common cold||Unknown||Airborne||Sleep, chicken soup, Robustissin||Harmless||Coughing and sneezing.|
|Tissue necrosis||Rotting||Non-contagious||Formaldehyde||Harmless||Skin rotting off, turning into a skeleton. Doesn't cause any permanent damage.|
|The flu||Unknown||Airborne||Sleep, chicken soup, Robustissin||Minor||Coughing, sneezing, minor toxin damage.|
|Food poisoning||Tainted food||Non-contagious||Sleep, chicken soup, Robustissin||Minor||Vomiting, random stuns.|
|Clowning around||Rainbow fluid||Non-contagious||None||Minor||Slowly turning into a clumsy clown. A variant of this virus transforms people into cluwnes instead, caused by painbow fluid. Note that both of these chems can only be obtained from artifact beakers, so they are understandably rare.|
|Draculaculiasis||Vampire serum||Non-contagious||None||Minor||Slowly turning into a Vampire, messages about tasting blood.|
|Lycanthropy||Werewolf serum||Non-contagious||None||Minor||Slowly turning into a Werewolf, sudden sensations of weakness.|
|Space madness||Rabid mice, loose screws||Non-contagious||Haloperidol||Dangerous||Loss of sanity. Hallucinations. Intense disorientation, manifesting as the view of the mapping being flipped.|
|Berserker||Rabid mice||Non-Contagious||Haloperidol||Dangerous||Swearing, shouting, attacking nearby crew members uncontrollably. There is also a non-contagious mutation.|
|Teleportitis||Liquid spacetime||Non-contagious||Electric shock||Dangerous||Teleporting around randomly, including tiles exposed to vacuum. Unlike most other diseases, teleportitis has only a single stage, meaning it takes full effect at the moment of infection.|
|MRSA||Unknown||Non-contagious||Spaceacillin||Dangerous||Rapidly accumulating toxin and burn damage in later stages.|
|Robotic transformation||Roburger||Non-contagious||Electric shock||Dangerous||Minor brute damage, occasional paralysis, turning into a cyborg.|
|Necrotic degeneration||Zombies||Contact||Styptic powder injection||Dangerous||Minor toxin damage, occasional paralysis, turning into a zombie.|
|GBS||Unknown||Non-contagious||Cryoxadone||Deadly||Toxin damage, exploding into gibs. Rarely, GBS may be airborne. A fake and largely harmless version also exists.|
|Space AIDS||HIV||Non-contagious||Incurable||Deadly||Toxin damage, randomly contracting other diseases.|
|Grave fever||Vampires, grave dust||Non-contagious||Spaceacillin||Deadly||Suffocation, severe toxin damage, paralysis, death.|
|Space kuru||Cannibalism, prions||Non-contagious||Incurable||Deadly||Escalating toxin damage, uncontrollable laughing and seizures, death.|
Note: These diseases are fixed in their parameters and always progress in the same way, but this isn't the case for every virus. Pathology research can create pathogens with an unique combination of symptoms and attributes.
Most contagious viruses spread through two means: airborne and contact transmission. In these cases, the infection vector is external, which means that wearing protective clothing (mostly a full biosuit and internals) will usually protect you from infection. As long as you don't eat or inject yourself with anything strange, you should be safe.
Furthermore, infections are tied to certain 'events' instead of happening on every life tick. Such events may be as simple as coughing, sneezing or talking. In other words, you aren't guaranteed to contract an airborne disease by just standing near an infected person, though this is a gamble you'd probably still want to avoid.
Contact transmission means that if you're right next to or touch the infected person in some way, you'll catch the virus from them. This includes bumping into them, accessing their inventory, using any of the empty hand intents (help, disarm etc.) or attacking them. Note that this works both ways in all cases - the infected can transmit the disease to someone else by punching them, or someone uninfected can catch the disease by punching the infected.
Airborne transmission just requires you to be near the person. You don't even have to be right next to them, just being within a certain range means you run a high risk of infection. Any gibs or blood spilled by the infected will also be contaminated, so if someone with airborne GBS explodes, going near their remains will get you infected.
The viruses you're most likely to catch are the contagious ones described above, but that doesn't mean you should discount non-contagious diseases as a threat. Consuming spoiled, badly cooked, poisoned or special kinds of foods or drinks can result in an infection, as can being injected with a viral reagent (willingly or otherwise). In these cases, protective clothing won't help you, since the virus is already inside you.
So, you've been infected with something. What can you do to stop it? This largely depends on the virus itself. Some viruses have a common cure, while others require a unique one that only works for them. If in doubt, trust the information provided by the health analyzer.
Simple - just go to sleep somewhere, preferably somewhere nice and safe, and rest. The virus will recede until it is cured completely. It would probably be best not to go to sleep in a busy area, unless you like getting mugged while you take a nap.
Have a wholesome serving of chicken soup. No, not the "chicken" Quik-Noodles cups those Discount Dan's machines try to pass off as chicken soup, the real-deal chicken soup you get in a real cup from, for some reason, the coffee machines.
Antibiotics and -psychotics
Go to medbay and ask for an injection of spaceacillin, an antibiotic. Certain diseases can only be cured by the anti-psychotic haloperidol, but other reagents may count as an antibiotic influence. Experiment and find out!
Get zapped by something. The stronger the source, the more likely it is to cure your disease. Power cables, electrified grills and doors, and stun batons may be able to help you here.
Much like reality, prevention is often preferable to infection. This can be achieved by wearing protective gear in the case of airborne and contact-transmitted viruses (as described above) or through other means. Resistances can be obtained by curing diseases through their usual means. Not all diseases will grant resistance when overcome, however.
Though very rare, some diseases flat out cannot be eliminated. If "cured", the virus will simply re-establish itself some time later, ignoring any resistances you might have. Your only hope of defeating these diseases is to not catch them - once contracted, they stay with you until the end of the round. Death or robotics are the only ways to escape.