Virus Victim Symptoms

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.

Subtrope of Slow Transformation. Compare Zombie Infectee. See also Body Horror. In a lot of cases, Transhuman Treachery is the result.

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?!


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    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).
  • Many cases in Shiki. One example being an elderly woman who supposedly "died" then came back to her daughter's house with no idea what happened to her. The daughter tries to feed her real food but she can't seem to keep it down. It isn't till the daughter cuts herself that the woman reacts to the blood and instantly starts to lap it up.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, this begins to happen to Ken Kaneki after he's released from the hospital following an organ transplant. He notices that he never ate anything while hospitalized, and suddenly his favorite foods taste disgusting. This leads to him slowly realizing that Warm Blood Bags Are Everywhere, and finally seeing his new Game Face in a mirror. To cope with this, he begins wearing a medical eyepatch to hide his kakugan. Eventually, Anteiku takes him in, hiring him as a part-time waiter as he befriends the Ghoul staff and begins slowly pulling away from his human life. His Muggle Best Friend, Hide, comments subtly on his changes but doesn't press him further. It turns out that he figured it out early on, but waited patiently for Kaneki to tell him. In the anime, he confesses to having felt left behind and excluded from Kaneki's new life.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Sometimes there's a telepathic connection between vampire and bite victim: Each can see what the other sees. John Carpenter's 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 after being bitten by a vamped Richie. As he's listening to the others talk, the sound suddenly drowns in his hearing replaced by a raspy demonic voice ordering him to kill the others. He then notices fangs in his mouth and his hands turn more monstrous which he quickly tries to hide. It's all played for laughs of course till he completely turns and bites an unsuspecting Frost.
  • District 9 has a sci-fi version of this, once Wikus' arm begins to turn prawn.
  • Almost completely averted in John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), where The Thing imitates whoever it infects so perfectly (in looks AND personality) that it's practically invisible, allowing it to be one of the most Paranoia Fuel inducing films imaginable.
  • Classic case in the first Count Yorga. A woman named Erica gets bitten at the start of the film. Prior before this, she was shown she was quite perky. But after Yorga's attack, she's despondent and listless. When her boyfriend come to check on her the following day, she completely trashes her place, can't seem to even recognize what a phone is (She drops it on the floor and just stares at it. Which makes sense, its ancient vampirism affecting her. And the monster she's becoming don't know of such things), chased down and fed on her pet kitten and acts like a savage when said boyfriend comes in. Then suddenly switches to a seductive tone before coming to her senses.

  • 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).
    • Likewise with Lucy as Dracula takes more of her blood. In her final moments as a human the protagonists realize her bite marks are completely gone and her canines are noticeable sharper. When she sees Arthur, her demeanor turns completely seductive as she tries to "kiss" him before Helsing separates the two.
  • Subverted 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, in ''The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries', 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.
  • In Galaxy of Fear: The Planet Plague, Tash gets increasingly irritable and angry, thinking of Revenge for her family, as a rash swells and spreads on her arm. Turns out it and her anger are connected. Eventually it starts leaking Blob Monster ooze that starts moving around, but it subsides when she makes herself calm down, and then she manages it until she can be treated and cured.
  • In The Troop, people infested with mutant tapeworms become ravenously hungry, progressing from Big Eater to Extreme Omnivore, smell like rotting fruit, loose weight incredibly rapidly, and develop golf-ball sized cysts on their bodies.

    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.
  • In the season 4 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Identity Crisis" Geordi and his friend Susanna Leijten get temporarily turn into aliens after going on a mission 'five years ago' (meaning five years before the start of the series). They become extremely sensitive to light and fidgety, no they are not turning into Vampires... Despite how it is described here...
  • When Nina was bitten by a werewolf in Angel, she started having symptoms. She was nauseated, especially by the smell of meat, she had cravings for meat, and her senses were heightened.

    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.