Declassified by Order of the Emergency Authority
CLEARED FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
NOTE: This report was initially compiled before the fall. However, its publication was suppressed by the administration. Nonetheless, a limited number of copies were circulated. Where they were acted upon, isolated communities were able to survive outbreaks of infection. Therefore, it is now reissued by the Emergency Authority and is mandatory reading for all citizens.
All outbreaks must be immediately reported by radio transmission to central control. All measures and injunctions in this report are to be considered as law, except for the sections on care for infected individuals and evacuation. At the first sign of infection, the patient is to be terminated – this is the most humane course of action.
Evacuation is expressly forbidden. To prevent the spread of infection, communities that are no longer able to sustain civil order will be purged by air strike or missile. Any refugees from said communities must be terminated on sight, and their remains incinerated.
Preliminary Reports on the Control and Management of H-700 Outbreaks
By Arthur Beale, Director of H-700 Special Commission, formerly of the CDC.
The following staff were instrumental in the compilation of this report:
Georges Lazuli, PhD
Marcus Jones, Md
Lucille Baker, PhD
Note: We are eternally indebted to Professor R Abascal, whose sacrifice and dedication enabled much of our research.
The H-700 strain presents a unique problem in the field of disease control. To date, progress has been hampered on a number of fronts; H-700 has proven to be singularly resistive to investigation. While we hope to learn how to prevent H-700 infection, a realistic appraisal places such an eventuality at some distant point in the future – possibly centuries from now. Until that time, we must instead focus on control and containment.
It is against the general policy of this organization to publish incomplete findings. However, given the vital necessity of our current situation, the Committee has compelled us to publish our findings to date, together with whatever pragmatic advice we can give. As such, this edition should be considered a first draft, subject to change. On completion of our investigation, we will be publishing a complete report, which will supersede this preliminary publication in every way.
Our survival in the face of this emergency depends on the continuation of our civic structure. Our only hope is to work together, and maintaining our infrastructure is vital. Following an outbreak, it is essential that it is contained and controlled immediately. In every model and simulation, it has been shown to be essential to contain the infection within 24 hours.
If not contained within 24 hours, the spread of infection within a community will reach uncontainable levels. At this point, there can only be individual survival – in such a case, civil order must be abandoned and evacuation becomes the only acceptable course of action.
NOTE FROM THE EMERGENCY AUTHORITY: Any attempt to evacuate an infected area will be treated as high treason. Where infection cannot be contained, the community must be purged to protect the nation.
We have been instructed to provide information applicable by field teams and civil authorities. This report is brief. It is divided into the following sections:
1: Mechanisms of Infection
2: Disease Control
3: Maintaining Civil Order
Mechanisms of Infection
As H-700 has no parallel in natural microbiology, our current hypothesis points to an extraterrestrial origin. H-700 is has a dual-phases lifecycle. Neither phase has an exact analog in terrestrial taxonomy.
H-700 Anatomy and Lifecycle
The first phase is similar to Earth’s bacteria, although the organism’s chemistry is radically different. The external structure of H-700s external form is similar to samples taken from Alaskan meteorite samples in 1998. The difference in biochemistry makes terrestrial organisms highly antipathetic environments for the first phase organism, severely retarding its growth.
In the case of a terrestrial bacterium, this would be our salvation – the bacteria would never be able to attain a viable colonial population. Sadly, this does not apply to H-700. Once a host is infected, the inevitable consequence is always death. The metabolic byproducts of the initial phase are highly toxic to all vertebrate animals. We are at a loss as to why it is not effective against invertebrate species.
Following host death, the second phase of H-700 is activated. This phase shares characteristics with virii and prions. In this phase, H-700 rapidly infects the necrotic cells of the dead host (cellular colonies which outlive the organism, such as hair and fingernails, remain uninfected). Once infected, the host’s dead cells undergo a radical transformation. The cells are effectively reanimated, although they are so altered that it would be inaccurate to describe the host organism as human at this point.
Early attempts to synthesize an inoculation have universally met with failure. Once contracted, H-700 is universally fatal. This is true even in the case of deactivated pathogens.
H-700 is highly virulent, although less so than (####### REDACTED ########). The exact mechanisms of infection are unknown, but we do know that airborne and water based vectors exist, as does infection through contact with saliva (biting). In its airborne form, it H-700 much less virulent than many terrestrial germs. Less than 5% of the population succumb to the airborne infection. The rate of infection through contaminated water is considerably higher – 45% of the population are likely to succumb to infection through waterborne pathogens.
Contact with the blood of an infected patient who is still alive carries a 65% risk of infection. Infection through the bite of a reanimated host is always effective.
Various prophylactic treatments have been tested. All have failed. At this point, there is no effective measure to prevent infection other than avoiding the infected, or contaminated areas. To reiterate – there is currently no treatment that will protect an individual against H-700 infection.
In the case of an outbreak, fast action is the key to survival. As with any epidemic, isolation and quarantine are the surest ways to prevent contagion. Infected patients must be removed from circulation placed in confinement upon first signs of infection. It is impossible to overstate the importance of restraining the infected.
There is little value in the preservation of deceased or reanimated individuals. There will never be a cure for these people. Given the radical cellular transformation that they undergo during the process of reanimation, they can no longer be considered the same individual.
In disposing of the remains, it is important to prevent the further spread of H-700, either in its airborne form or through groundwater contamination. That immediately rules out burial. The safest way to dispose of the infected is by cremating the remains immediately following the death of the individual, before reanimation. These remains should be placed in a medical or industrial incinerator. While it is possible to dispose of them at lower temperatures, the risk of contamination is much higher.
Dealing With the Infected and the Reanimated
During the later stages of infection, an individual will be delirious and prone to acting out a variety of manias. It is essential to restrain such individuals to prevent harm and the spread of infection.
NOT FROM THE EMERGENCY AUTHORITY: The section on the care of infected persons is canceled and removed from this edition. Infected persons are to be humanely terminated immediately. Infection is always fatal, involves great suffering, and puts others at risk. Fast and painless execution is the kindest course of action.
All reanimated individuals are predatory, and should be destroyed on sight. They attack people as soon as they see or hear them, and always attempt to bite. Instinctively, they seek to kill and eat animal prey, including people. Paradoxically, they gain no sustenance from their diet – their modified cells gain energy only through the metabolism of their own biomass. Eventually, this leads to the dissolution of the reanimated corpse. But for our purposes, we cannot wait for decay to remove the reanimated.
We have hypothesized that their predatory urge is some remnant of their former human intellect. They lack any instinct of self-preservation, and they have no ability to reproduce other than through the infection of other human individuals. However, it seems unlikely that they are driven by the urge to reproduce, as they will always prefer to consume their captured prey.
The bite of an infected person is always fatal. It always leads to infection.
A reanimated individual is no longer human; they do not have human weaknesses. Injury to the torso or heart will not kill or incapacitate a reanimee. It may serve to slow them down. Destroying the brain or removing the head are the only effective way to stop a reanimated person. Even then, the remains must be cremated to prevent infection and the contamination of groundwater.
Maintaining Civil Order
After removing infected individuals from the population, the surest way to prevent the spread of H-700 is through enforced isolation. All members of the community should be placed under house arrest, except those volunteers needed to maintain order. Large population concentrations should be dispersed.
Routine patrols must be organized. They are to check for signs of infection or for individuals attempting to breach isolation. Water, food and medical supplies should be regularly delivered to each household. It is important that this chore is not allowed to interfere with the regular duties of the patrol. Our recommendation is to form a second corps solely responsible for providing aid, allowing the patrols to focus only on security and detecting further outbreaks of infection.
While these measures may be deemed draconian, they are effective and have historical precedent. Before inoculation, such a policy was responsible for limiting and eventually halting the spread of bubonic plague in medieval Europe. More recently, during the initial H-700 outbreaks in South America, the only community to effectively prevent total infection was a federal prison.
I fear that this advice will expose this report to the censure of my colleagues and the committee. I personally find it morally repugnant. But in the name of survival, I implore you to lay aside these feelings. At some future date, if we survive our current emergency, it will be because we had the courage to take the less popular course. At that time, I will gladly resign my position, even face charges in a public court. Until that time, I must compel you to act on these words.
In the face of this epidemic, maintaining life and community are more important than the continuation of individual civil liberties. We must trade the coin of personal freedom for that greater commodity, life itself.
There can be no civil liberty without civilization. Put bluntly, unless we preserve our communities and social order, we will be unable to survive. We number in the millions. Agriculture and industry are the bedrock of our existence. As an organized society, we can meet this challenge to our existence and win.
As a dispersed population, without the means of sustenance or tools, we will surely succumb.