The Blue Rot is a very infectious disease. It is described as being similar to the pneumonic plague, a kind of plague that attacks the victim's respiratory system.
The Blue Rot bacteria can be contracted by close contact with an infected person. There are several ways for that to happen in the game:
- By being close enough to any NPC that is a carrier of the disease while in combat. Depending on the stage of his sickness, the infection radius might differ, but can be as great as 4 units.
- By close interaction with a sick member of the Church of the Blue Frog, during various random encounters.
- It can also be contracted by consuming a dose of YPC, 020.6, carried by King Elias.
- Being exposed to the Defoliant Exposure in the Great Black Swamp for extended periods.
As it is an airborne disease, wearing a gas mask with a functioning filter can prevent infection by contact, whether in combat or during an encounter. Placing a rag on character's face can also serve as a crude protection, but the chance that it will actually work is low (~33%). Both clean and dirty rags can be used in that way, with no difference on the effectiveness.
Like all diseases in the game, Blue Rot affects the player in three stages:
- Blue Rot 1 - The first stage is an incubation period, invisible to the affected person unless the Full Diagnostic Work-up is performed in the Haggerty Health Clinic in the DMC, and has no identifiable effects.
- Blue Rot 2 - The Medic skill or Full Diagnostic allow to detect this phase. Vomiting and an Immune System bar drop occurs at this stage.
- Blue Rot 3 - The final stage of the disease, lasts for another three days (72 hours). After that time, the sick character has a very small chance (around 30%) of shrugging the sickness off on his own, but in most cases, this ends in death.
Surviving the disease leads to the character's body immunizing itself against the disease, meaning that there is no longer any chance for him to contract the Blue Rot again.
There is only one (1) guaranteed permanent cure for Blue Rot:
- YpcV formula - obtained in the Saginaw Mental Institution, from King Elias, or in Clearbone Valley. It removes the disease immediately and provides lifetime immunity to the disease.
Two other options provide a small chance of surviving Blue Rot (neither are permanent):
- Bear Root - Provides a small chance to cure Blue Rot, depending on the stage of the disease:
Stage 1 (25%),
Stage 2 (1.25%),
Stage 3 (0.7%)
The chance is not cumulative, so eating multiple Bear Roots at once does not help. Removing the sickness via chewing of the Bear Root does not provide any immunity for later infections.
- Natural immune defenses - Let the disease run its course, gambling on a very small chance to survive.
Though unproven, nanorobotic treatment may help fight the disease. Using it during stage 3 seems to help the most.