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When a character becomes infected with The Virus or a Viral Transformation, typically thanks to a run-in with a vampire, werewolf, space alien, nano machine cyborg or weirder fare, the victim will take a while to change into his new form. During that time, he will start exhibiting a lot of the strange behavior and physical changes as a symptom of the transformation. Either he or an observant loved one will have a dawning "Oh Crap" reaction as he notices the change into a non-human critter.

Compare Zombie Infectee. See also Body Horror.

Common signs include:

If More Than Mind Control is involved, it's up to a loved one to notice the change and save their friend... or put him out of his misery. Alternately, if the character isn't under mental thrall, now's a good time to become a Vampire Refugee with Heroic Willpower. Who knows? Maybe a cure is possible, or at least redemption via Ascended Demon-hood.

In Character Description - How To Spot Monster Victims

  Is Someone Close To You Under The Control of Hideous Creatures from Beyond?!

One of the most serious problems facing the youth, middle aged and elderly today is the supernatural and fantastical. Part of the problem is that it's just so darn tootin' hard to tell whether Jimmy is depressed because he lost the big game or because emotion eating aliens are draining his will to live. That there's a Fantasy Kitchen Sink worth of creepy crawlies out there just waiting to make Joe and Jane Q. Public into dinner doesn't help.

That's why your good old benevolent Government has issued these simple guidelines to tell when a stranger, friend, relative or loved one is under the thrall of blood sucking abominations! If they have two or more of the signs below call your local Witch Hunter immediately!

  • Is little Johnny Not Himself? Maybe he acts more aggressive, randy, emotionless or even listless?
  • Is Sally eating more than her girlish figure would imply? Is she eating more rare USDA approved AAA steak than the whole offensive line of the local sports team? Call the hospital... after getting an endorsement deal!
  • Is hubby dearest not shaving, yet still baby faced? Does he avoid mirrors? Ladies, use your compact to check if he still has a reflection!.
  • If your dear wife's pearly whites are a bit pointier than you remember, don't call a dentist, call the pound!
  • If your neighbor refuses your barbecue invites, but shows up after dark, consider installing a UV light by your doorstep and inviting him over for tomato juice!
  • Puberty is a time of large and scary changes in boys and girls, but if a classmate you know starts getting pale, very very hairy, or hollow eyes, consider advising a nearby Reasonable Authority Figure that Billy doesn't need a special talk, but a containment cell!
  • Making friends can be difficult, which is why we should always try to make new ones! However, if one of your friends leaves your group and joins a new, strange person, he or she may be dangerous!
  • Parents, if your children come home with "hickies", they may be doing more than parking in lover's lane (have you talked to them about that, by the way?) you should be concerned The Devil doesn't sink his claws in them.

With that out of the way, remember: Be vigilant! Humans have to stick together! How else are we going to beat those Damn Dirty Communists?!

Examples of Virus Victim Symptoms include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kei Kurono's brother, in Gantz, starts turning into a "vampire". Symptoms are apathy, lack of sympathy for other humans and loss of appetite (for regular food).

Film -- Live Action

  • Sometimes there's a telepathic connection between vampire and bite victim: Each can see what the other sees. The John Carpenter Vampires movie has this example.
  • In The Lost Boys, the main character shows the usual symptoms: He enjoys very rare meat (I think he drinks a cup of blood from a steak), and has an aversion to sunlight.
  • This happens in Once Bitten, notably with bite marks in the inner thigh, making for a hilarious attempt at a locker room confirmation of his being a vampire victim.
  • Sex Machine undergoes this in the film From Dusk till Dawn, but the scene is played for laughs.
  • District 9 has a sci-fi version of this, once Wikus' arm begins to turn prawn.
  • Ginger Snaps Back


  • In the original Dracula, Mina shows vampiric traits. For example, her canines start getting longer and sharper, and she's burned by a consecrated communion wafer. The heroes are able to use her telepathic connection with Dracula to track him down and kill him, curing Mina (we hope).
    • Though subverted hard in Fred Saberhagen's version of the tale, The Dracula Tape. Here, vampires aren't actually vulnerable to holy items (Dracula suspects that the holy wafer pieces used to stop Lucy Westenra from leaving her grave were mixed with a heavy dose of garlic, which is a problem for them especially when young), and so Mina isn't either; her burn is explained away as psychosomatic, a result of van Helsing all but hypnotizing her and her own conflicted feelings about starting to fall in love with the Count, and the alleged telepathic connection is just one big fib from start to finish.
  • Akin to the aforementioned effects in True Blood, Southern Vampire Mysteries universe Sookie has been on the receiving end of enough of Eric's blood that he's wary of giving her much more, or else she'll be a vampire herself. This effectively cranks their relationship up several notches, since they thrive on each others' emotions.
  • In Harry Potter, Bill suffers from a mild version after being attacked by Fenrir Greyback.

Live Action TV

  • In True Blood, Bill can, because he has had so much of Sookie's blood, tell when she's in trouble. Eric can as well.
  • Invoked in The Office, after an encounter with a bat trapped in the building, Jim starts faking symptoms of vampirism (getting burned on garlic bread, for instance) to fool with Dwight.
  • Near the end of season 2 of House, with a real but unknown disease. The patient of the week goes through a series of symptoms: laughing at things one wouldn't normally find funny, then going blind without realizing it, followed by hyperalgesia and then cardiac arrest. And then, while testing the patient, Dr. Foreman starts laughing.

Tabletop RPG

  • In several Urban Fantasy series, the Alpha werewolf has supernatural connectivity and power over his pack.


  • In Gian-Carlo Menotti's opera Help, Help, the Globolinks!, the first change that happens to humans who have been touched by Globolinks is that they become unable to speak in a human voice.


  • In Bionicle, the first symptom of The Dreaming Plague is that the victim loses the ability to dream, which in turn leads to irritability, which escalates into violence and ultimately madness.
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