Formosan Flu, named after the world of New Formosa V, is a mutated form of rabies found in the Vacuity pockets 32076AC and RXVY75. According to the analyzed history of these two Vacuity pocket, Formosan flu replaced the bubonic plague in history, spread by the Mongols and caused almost complete depopulation of Europe in 32076AC and the Middle East in RXVY75. The Lazarus virus, a term used interchangeably with the term Formosan flu, is actually a militarized version of the disease produced by the Solanum States.
Formosan flu is not viral in nature, but rather spread by malformed proteins (prions) that attack the nervous system of the victim. The higher cognitive functions of the victim are disabled and the brain produces abnormally high levels of adrenaline. Victims of Formosan flu are motivated by one thing: continued spreading of the disease through bites. Contrary to popular belief, those infected with Formosan flu are not dead. In fact, they are conscious and studies of neural signals of infectees reveals that they are conscious throughout the entire ordeal. Although anything that can kill a regular man can kill an infectee, and infectees can feel pain, they do not react to it. The flesh of infectees rots slowly but at a controlled pace, a trait seems to have aided the virus’ survival as it helps infectees identify those who have been infected and those than have not.
While the Formosan flu was deadly to the civilizations of the Middle Ages, it was easily contained by 28th century forces on New Formosa V. The planetary quarantine was quickly lifted once the true nature of the disease was known. The Solanumese and Coalition government saw great potential in the Formosan flu, but realized that it was far from a world-ending weapon. Instead, the disease would be used as a siege weapon. The besieged area’s hospitals would be overwhelmed, preventing them from tending to injured soldiers, and law enforcement and military forces would be forced to choose between fighting the infected or fighting an organized military force. The settlement would either surrender or succumb to the attackers and/or the infected.
Solanumese bioweapons engineers worked on a deadlier strain of the Formosan flu. This strain, nicknamed Lazarus after the Biblical character that rose from the dead, would be spread through an airborne virus and replaces the infectees’ slow, shambling gait with running and sprinting. In this form, the disease could be spread through traditional bioweapon or chemical shells that even the weakest interstellar power has large stocks of. The Lazarus virus has seen action in the Anglian Civil War and the Galactic War, and bioengineers were working on both strains targeting various xeno species and on making current strains 100% communicable.