Information gathered from the briefing of Professor Ronald Jacobs, PHD Neuro-Behavioralist:
Dormant State – Lie unmoving, appearing dead, metabolism nearly off to conserve energy. Used if no food is available. First round they gain awareness but don’t do more than open their eyes. Round 2, begin moving and get up. Round 3, move at half speed. Round 4, full speed. Will wander for rougly 2 hours after stimulus is removed then return to dormancy, taking roughly 5 minutes to become fully dormant. Based on their metabolism and assuming they’ve fully fed, we estimate they can last up to 3 months without eating if small, medium and large 4-4.5 months, and large 5-6 months. This is due to their semi-cold blooded metabolism and their dormancy abilities.
Mimic Living/Uninfected – We see them go through the motions of doing what they did when they were alive. This may, in part, be a strategy to attract prey – we have seen them hide obvious wounds to their flesh. This appears to mostly be a habitual behavior. They are otherwise motivated by their feeding instinct.
Semi-Cold Blooded – Don’t maintain body temperature and don’t need much food to sustain it. They like to lie in the open to “sun” themselves like reptiles. They prefer tight spaces if the temperature drops below 50 degrees. In spite of this are able to move and predate if temp is above 35 degrees. Our tests demonstrate they are able to freeze, thaw, and continue without obvious signs of damage, though who can really tell?
Variable Virulence – The virus is most active from a host who was freshly bitten and actively fighting the new host’s immune system. As the transmitting host moves further from the initial 72 hour window the virus moves slower through the new host’s body. In the event of feeding within the last 6-24 hours, the transmitting host will become 1 to 2 levels more virulent. These facts account for the rapid initial spread of the plague and continuing outbreak. There have been rare instances of animal transmission of the virus have been documented, 2 dogs on the street and a pen of pigs on a local farm – it’s unclear if the two animal sets are related but they are both type 2 infections.
He mentioned that there were at least 3 strains of the virus. He referred to a very large, strong, and tough infected as a “Type 4”. When pressed he defined type 1 as non-survivor, died from the infection. Type 2 strain is the most common seen. Type 3 has little data, only 20 cases have been seen and they were all killed before testing could be performed. Type 4 are more aggressive, stronger, and much tougher. 4’s seem to be completely animalistic, having no habitual memory to access, and cognitive portions of the frontal lobes almost completely destroyed. The infected seem to identify each other through smell – the smell isn’t appetizing to them and we have no reported incidents of infected eating another infected; not even type 1’s. Their typical hunting tactic is to use their numbers to drag their victim to the ground before attempting to feed, though type 4’s rarely bother with this.
The infection may be introduced possibly through a scratch, though that carries a greatly reduced infection rate, or through through fluid exchange, which has a nearly 100% infection rate. Fluid exchange usually happens when saliva from a bite or infected blood introduced to an open wound, the mouth, nose, or eyes. If the infection is acutely virulent a victim can “turn” in as little as 2 hours. There is no record of an infected victim turning who has survived for 14 days after the infection incident – These are technically Type 5 infected: Immune. We have some intriguing leads that could eventually lead to a test for immunity, but it’s far to preliminary to yield useful data at this time.