THE FIRST BLOW - Global Warming resulted in the hottest summer on record in 2012. This caused an extended growing season for common grazing plants leading to an enormous deer population. With an enormous deer population came an enormous deer tick population, many infected with Lyme disease variant H4N1 receptive. Benign in deer, LDH4N1R is a mutation of the more typical bacteria found in mice and deer populations in North America, Europe, and Asia. This mutant variant traveled via parasitic infection of birds to other populations of deer and mice worldwide.
THE SECOND BLOW - The latest flu epidemic began its annual worldwide migration in spring of 2013, arriving in North America that fall. While it is unclear when and where the relevant DNA code was taken from the mutated Lyme disease variant, it is clear that the influenza virus circulating this particular year had absorbed it into its infectious structure. This also led to the name “Deer Flu”. Due to the extremely unusual H4N1 variation of the Deer Flu pandemic, the infectious rate was almost total, estimated 99.993% by spring of the following year. The symptoms of this particular variety of flu were very mild however, with far fewer fatalities or complications than with other influenza variants. The CDC and other health organizations were quick to issue warnings that were largely ignored stating that we were very lucky this time and that a more serious disease with this level of infection would have been devastating.
THE THIRD BLOW – In the early spring of 2013, various people working and engaging in wooded areas outdoors began to fall ill. All of them displayed very intense Lyme disease like symptoms following tick bites coming on within 2-4 hours of exposure. This included redness or rash around the bite area, flu like symptoms, joint pain radiating throughout the body, neurological impairment from inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain, temporary paralysis, full body numbness, irregular heartbeat, and severe fatigue. With very few exceptions the patients all died within 7 days of infection. Julia Culp, age 9 was admitted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC on June 2nd with Variant Lyme Syndrome (VLS), suffering symptoms normally until day 3, when she developed an extreme appetite for protein. She is since known as patient zero. The bacteria seemed to combine and mutate with the H4N1 factors left in her system from the Deer Flu, leading to an easing of some symptoms and enabling her to survive.
In an effort to restrain a violently thrashing Julia on June 12th, LVN Janet Peterson sustained a bite on her finger from Julia. She was given antibiotics, the bite was disinfected and cleaned, stitched, and she was kept overnight for observation. Not showing symptoms the following morning, she was allowed to go home. She didn’t show up or call for work the next day (neither did her husband, nor her children to school). This is the epicenter of the Infected Outbreak.
Anyone who had the Deer Flu, which has mostly worked its way around the world, will be infected if they have body fluid contact with the infected. As the infection spread, slowly at first, then rapidly picking up pace and showing up in more and more communities, it became obvious that the incubation period was becoming shorter and shorter. The disease traveled throughout North America and, via plane, to the rest of the world. As the chaos began, police and fire departments went on full alert, then the national guard was activated. When this failed to contain the situation the active military was called in to help. In a last ditch effort all former military, retired police officers, and anyone with any emergency, medical, police, or military training were rounded up and pressed into service.
AT PRESENT - Your characters are trapped in a room in a building on the Illinois State University campus in Normal, IL, along with several others. From the time you arrived there have been 4 separate incidents of infected trying to storm the room, mostly caused by an extremely noisy and fairly crazy homeless lady and her bags of cans. During the 3rd event, Beverly the Realtor, one of the others in the room with you, “accidentally” pushed her into the crowd of infected tearing down the door, distracting them long enough to let you get the door closed and braced again. No one really knew what to say or do, and no one refuted her when she said, “Sorry, it was an accident.” It’s been 2 days since the last incident and the food and water ran out shortly after it.