The Rat Plague

The rat plague is a rodent-borne contagious disease, responsible for the decimation of the population of Dunwall

Symptoms of the plague include discolored skin (particularly on the face and chest), weight loss, and thinning of the hair. As the disease progresses, the lungs and brain become more damaged, leaving its sufferers with a chronic cough and a significant decrease in cognitive ability.

Late-stage symptoms include subconjunctival hemorrhaging, which causes blood to drip from the eyes, and infestation by parasitic stinging insects. Early efforts to combat the plague are fruitless once these symptoms surface, and prior to the discovery of a cure, the disease is lethal at this stage. Plague sufferers in the last stages of the disease are known colloquially as "weepers".
 

Preventative methods, such as Sokolov's Elixir and Piero's Spiritual Remedy, exist but are expensive and scarce. As such, they are generally not affordable to the majority of citizens in Dunwall. Cheaper and less effective methods for combating the disease have emerged, including bootleg elixir produced by the Bottle Street gang, homeopathic remedies, and ritualistic ceremonies. Although official sources discourage the use of these methods, given the inaccessibility of elixirs, they are still commonly used. Natural resistance to the plague does exist.

Individuals suspected of contracting the plague have their property and assets immediately seized by The City Barrister, which are transferred to the state if there are no surviving kin to inherit. Corruption and bribery within the Legal District has led to false claims of infection on otherwise healthy persons so that their property may be seized for political and financial gain.

The Rat Plague

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