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The Simian Flu Pandemic, also known as the Simian Flu Crisis, was a catastrophic viral outbreak that resulted in the near extinction of humanity and the evolution of all apes on Earth. The pandemic resulted from drug testing done at Gen-Sys Laboratories, a biotechnology company that sought to create a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

History

Background

At Gen-Sys Laboratories, Will Rodman created a supposed cure for Alzheimer's Disease, the ALZ-112. He tested it on a female chimpanzee nicknamed Bright Eyes, one of the newly brought chimp specimens captured by ape poachers from the jungles of Western Africa. Bright Eyes gained heightened intelligence in the process, but unexpectedly went berserk and rampaged through the research facility, believing her newborn child would be threatened by her captives. Bright Eyes, unfortunately, was executed shortly after her attack by security officers while Will was presenting the ALZ-112 to members of Gen-Sys' board. Because of this incident, potential fundings for the ALZ-112 project were cut, and all remaining chimp test subjects in the corporation's possession were ordered to be euthanized. Upon discovering the truth about Bright Eyes' rampage, Will, feeling remorse for her abandoned newborn son, adopted the baby chimp and named him Caesar, after his father (who had Alzheimer's) quoted Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. During the eight years he spent being raised and researched on by Will, Caesar was shown to have inherited heightened intelligence from his mother, one of the primary side effects of the ALZ-112, and proved to be smarter than his human counterparts.

When Will tested the ALZ-112 on his father, his father seemed to have improved from his condition, but his dementia returned 5 years later after his immune system fought off the ALZ-112 via the creation of antibodies. Because of this, Will managed to produce an entirely new potential cure called ALZ-113. This cure gave apes an even greater sense of intelligence, and due to this fact, Will attempted to test the new aerosol drug on his father, but Charles refused and died overnight. Upon returning to work, Will discovered that the ALZ-113 had been recklessly tested on the other chimps, ordered by the head of Gen-Sys, Steven Jacobs, who narcissistically ignored Will's warnings about the potential risks and planned to sell the retrovirus onto market in order to increase Gen-Sys' monetary income from the profits gained. A few days earlier, when Will's team of scientists were administering the ALZ-113 on Koba, chimp handler Robert Franklin had his mask knocked off by the scarred Bonobo, who unexpectedly launched a surprise attack against the scientists, specifically targeting Jacobs, who was overseeing Koba's procedure in lab testing gear, before being rendered unconscious, thus infecting him with the ALZ-113. Days later, Franklin made the mistake of trying to warn Will of the virus' lethality, but the scientist wasn't home. Instead, his warnings caught the unwanted attention of an ill-tempered neighbor named Douglas Hunsiker, a pilot working for Global Airlines, who approached the ailing lab technician, startling Franklin enough to accidentally sneeze on him, causing Hunsiker to become infected with the ALZ-113. Now disgusted and agitated, Hunsiker demanded Franklin to leave Will's property immediately. Later, Dottie, Franklin's landlady, who was coming into check on him, discovered Franklin lying dead on his bed. Franklin was still externally bleeding from his nose, mouth, eyes and ears, even after he died.[1]

Spread

After Caesar and the apes escaped into the Muir Woods, the Ape Rebellion in San Francisco and its connections to Gen-Sys became well known by the media, leading to local politicians, authorities and Gen-Sys' parent corporation, Polytechnic Solutions, to cover up the truth about the disastrous events, effectively starting the "Monkey-gate" scandal. Meanwhile, Hunsiker, who had his finger bandaged, arrived at San Francisco International Airport to board his newest flight. While heading towards the departure gate in preparation for boarding, Hunsiker discovered blood dripping from his nose, a symptom of the ALZ-113 virus. Refusing to forgo getting paid, Hunsiker resumed work and unknowingly spread the virus to passengers on the commercial airliner he piloted, bound for Paris, France before traveling to Africa (possibly Chad) and then spreading it across Asia (from Mumbai to Beijing, Tokyo, and finally to Alaska, before returning to San Francisco). Hunsiker eventually died upon returning to the United States, but not before bringing the virus to every continent he traveled to on his flight, which spread across the rest of the globe via both domestic and international flight routes.[1]

In San Francisco, which had been designated Ground-Zero for the ALZ-113, both the CDC and the WHO officially declared an outbreak of an unknown viral disease when several isolated cases in one of the city's major hospitals were detected. Shortly after the virus was declared as a Public Health Emergency Of International Concern, former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg delivered a public speech that those suffering from a hemorrhagic fever, coughing, sneezing or sore throat should stay home and receive the medical treatment they require. Hospitals and emergency rooms all over the planet soon became overwhelmed with patients showing signs of the ALZ-113, which was dubbed the "Simian Flu" by the media. As a result of the increasing number of infection rates, medical personnel and patients began implementing and following strict containment protocols and quarantine procedures, which included wearing facial protection to decrease further risks of infection. As new infection cases and death tolls began escalating day by day, every nation in the world endured a violent collapse of civilian order, and soon, the entire world pushed itself into an imbalanced state of chaos and anarchy. Once the connection between the virus and the escaped evolved apes became public knowledge after the truth behind the virus outbreak was exposed, rioting mobs and extremist militias broke into zoos, wildlife parks, and sanctuaries and began slaughtering apes, monkeys, and other superficially simian-like mammals, shifting the blame irrationally onto all primate species for allegedly spreading the virus across the planet.[2]

Throughout the world, other countries fared no better in stopping the pandemic for good. Apart from San Francisco, major cities saw widespread cases of infection from the Simian Flu, with the mortality rates staggering up to as many as 150 million humans dead within a span of six to eight months. With the spread of the virus negatively affecting society at an alarming rate, mass rioting and looting began in all major cities. In the United States, quarantined hospitals and other medical centers were overloaded with both patients and staff infected with the Simian Flu, while other nations such Indonesia saw fewer isolated cases and closed down their borders to decrease further risks. With hysteria and anarchy rapidly increasing amongst the public, the ensuing breakdown of law and order resulted in the intervention of the National Guard and FEMA, who focused their efforts on containing the anarchy, and the simultaneous rise of Alpha-Omega, a nihilistic, quasi-extremist terrorist organization/doomsday cult movement with their own medical solution to the crisis: kill all the infected. A brutal series of attacks soon followed as other extremist groups apart from Alpha-Omega began firebombing hospitals, government establishments etc, such as the quarantined areas in Alameda Point, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people, whether they were infected or not, and anyone Alpha-Omega deemed "impure" in their genocidal holocaust, claiming that the virus was a sign that humanity must be purged. In Tennessee, Muslims were scapegoated by Christian mobs and many were beaten to death. Containment of the virus was proven futile, and to help those seeking to escape and survive the anarchistic violence, the former 44th President of the United States Barack Obama organized evacuation routes. Several understaffed nuclear power plants went into meltdown when their reactors were destroyed from severe overheating, while ethnic conflicts broke out around the Levant, Africa, and former Yugoslavia. The Chinese government went on a brutal crackdown of rebelling ethnic minorities in Eastern China. In a vast majority of Middle-Eastern nations, anarchistic conflicts between warring religious groups saw Muslims burning Christians alive. Meanwhile, in India, a series of catastrophic chemical spills in the native rivers such as the Ganges resulted in some fanatical groups seeing the burning rivers as a sign of them being gifted the path to religious salvation, and so began immolating themselves in the intoxicated waters.[2]

Five years into the pandemic, approximately 50% of the human population perished from both the virus and societal collapse. At this point, intergovernmental organizations such as the UN and NATO attempted to deploy their peacekeeping forces to quell the anarchy. Meanwhile, the CDC used apes for scientific experiments in an attempt to create antibodies as a means of a stronger immune response towards the virus. However, the CDC and U.S. Army handling the apes experienced a significant rift and progress ended as a result.

Martial law was declared in 28 nations, including the United States and Canada, followed by severe power outages. Later, a public message declared that due to the increasing extremity of the Simian Flu crisis, all regular government functions were to be suspended indefinitely. Following this announcement, human civilization ultimately collapsed as civil unrest, anarchy, and governmental collapse destroyed every country in the world.

Aftermath

Approximately 10 years after the devastating outbreak of the Simian Flu, human civilization has long since collapsed. The human species as a whole survived, but a large percentage of the global population is dead from either the Simian Flu or the resulting collapse of society. However, small pockets of humans gathered in isolated survivor groups scattered across the globe, as they were genetically immune and formed small isolated colonies in the ruins of cities or elsewhere. In one instance, surviving members of the U.S. government settled in a military bunker on the U.S. west coast, where they stored a large stockpile of military-grade technology. Additonally, another colony in San Francisco had a confrontation with a neighboring colony of genetically evolved apes.

Two years after the Human-Ape War broke out, the Simian Flu went through a significant evolution following the worldwide pandemic. Instead of killing humans, the newly neuro-degenerative strain targeted the vital speech cells and structures of the human brain, causing the infected survivors to lose their speech capabilities and their advanced intelligence to be diminished to more primitive levels. This new mutation was so contagious that the doll of Nova, a young girl who carried the mutated virus, infected Colonel McCullough just from merely confiscating it. McCullough may have suspected this as he had the belongings of those infected burned to prevent the strain from spreading in the imminent case that a second outbreak should occur at any given point. The new strain may also make the evolved apes progressively more intelligent if it were to be contracted by them. At this point, the Simian Flu created a second civil war for the United States. Some humans became so desperate to contain the mutated strain that they created an AWOL paramilitary faction to kill any infected humans who carried the virus and preserve humanity's supremacist ideologies. However, other humans opposed this with their own counteractive military, believing a medical solution could be found to the crisis. In the aftermath of the Battle of the Border, both factions were wiped out in an avalanche, while the San Francisco Ape Colony escaped to an oasis, culminating in the evolution of all apes and their eventual rise to supremacy as the new dominant species of Earth.

In the following decades, the evolved apes expanded in numbers and formed various clans, living harmoniously in and around the oasis where the San Francisco Ape Colony first resided. Meanwhile, descendants of surviving humans who were infected by the mutated Simian Flu lived as primal hunter-gatherers, although a number of humans were immune to the mutated strain's effects and continued to live in isolated settlements. Three hundred years after the war, an ambitious bonobo ruler named Proximus Caesar sought to advance his clan of apes using remnants of human technologies to amass a large ape kingdom. To do so, he twisted Caesar's teachings and engaged in the conquest/enslavement of other ape clans while also hunting humans, putting him into conflict with a young chimpanzee falconer named Noa, who eventually forms an alliance with Mae, a human woman with high intelligence, to challenge Proximus' ambitions, while Mae seeks to find ways for humans to prosper once more.

Speculation

Statistics taken from the promotional video ("1/10 survives"), suggest that 90% of the human population is dead. Based on the estimated world population in 2016, this would equate to approximately 749 million survivors and 6.74 billion fatalities, not taking into account deaths from violence or starvation as a result of societal collapse. However, the numbers given in the opening scene ("1/500") imply almost 15 million survivors and over 7.47 billion fatalities.

In War for the Planet of the Apes, Colonel McCullough states the mutated virus would make humanity more animalistic, implying that it decreases intelligence. However, this is contradicted by Nova, who was infected with the virus but was still able to quickly learn sign language by observing the skills of other Apes, and displayed a variety of emotions. However, other infected are notably less intelligent and not merely non-verbal, as seen by the events established by earlier adaptations, which consistently portray humanity's future descendants as having regressed to a primitive, animalistic state. Even if Nova's intelligence is completely unaffected, which seems dubious - since real life apes display emotions and can learn sign language, but are nonetheless only as intelligent as human children, it is perhaps possible that children and adults are affected by the virus differently.

Plague Inc: Evolved

In the video game Plague Inc: Evolved, you are able to take control of a Simian Flu Virus in-game, or you can optionally rename it yourself. The two outcomes that can happen are: 1: The Virus can be eradicated, but will cause minor/major changes into human civilization. 2: You can take control of the earth with the Genetically enhanced apes.

References

Planet of the Apes - 20th Century Reboot Series
Planet of the Apes (CE) Movies
Rise of the Planet of the Apes | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes | War for the Planet of the Apes | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Main Evolved Ape Characters
Caesar | Bright Eyes | Koba | Maurice | Rocket | Buck | Cornelia | Blue Eyes | Luca | Ash | Cornelius | Winter | Lake | Bad Ape | Red | Noa | Soona | Anaya | Raka | Koro | Dar | Proximus Caesar | Sylva | Lightning
Supporting Ape Characters
Alpha | Burke | Verdon | Tinker | Grey | Stone | Andy | Wolfie | Jeanpierre | Lucky | Koba's Mother | Sparrow | Pope | Fifer | Cora | Rex | Bon | Dallas | Milo | Herman | Spear | Ajax | Oak | Fox | Aghoo | Ursus | Percy | Beardface | Armando | Luna | Oda | Rust
Main Human Characters
Will Rodman | Charles Rodman | Caroline Aranha | Robert Franklin | Steven Jacobs | Dodge Landon | John Landon | Douglas Hunsiker | Malcolm | Ellie | Alexander | Dreyfus | Carver | Foster | Colonel McCullough | Nova | Mae | Trevathan
Supporting Human Characters
Rodney | John Hamil | Rita | Sarah | Maddy | John | Edward | Roger Mason | Werner | Kemp | Clancy Stoppard | Corbin | Daniel Nygun | David Flynn | Finney | Kuo | Malakai Youmans | Max (Firestorm) | McVeigh | Terry | Roger | Rod Wilson | Preacher | Boyle | Lang | Travis | Korina
Families
Rodman Family | Caesar's Family | Malcolm's Family | Rocket's Family | Dreyfus' Family
Animals
Horse | Elk | Grizzly Bear | Eagle | Zebra
Items / Weapons
Simian Flu
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion | Human-Ape War | Simian Flu Pandemic | Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge | Battle in San Francisco | Battle of Muir Woods Park | Attack on Ape Waterfall | Battle of the Border
Organizations / Colonies / Companies
San Francisco Ape Colony | Caesar's Council of Apes | Caesar's Ape Army | Gen-Sys Board | San Francisco's Human Colony | Dreyfus' Human Army | Malcolm's Group | Alpha-Omega | Donkeys | Florida Ape Colony | Rocky Mountains Ape Colony | Eagle Clan | Coastal Ape Colony | Order of Caesar | Satellite Human Colony
Locations
West African Jungle | San Francisco | San Francisco Zoo | Gen-Sys Laboratories | Rodman House | San Bruno Primate Shelter | Golden Gate Bridge | Muir Woods Park | Ape Mountain | Ape Gate | Ape Village | Caesar's Home | Warehouse | Ape Waterfall | The Border | Oasis
Comics
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (webcomic) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Contagion | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Before the Dawn | War for the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Planet of the Apes: The Time of Man | Planet of the Apes: The Simian Age | Planet of the Apes: Devolution
Novels
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations | War for the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | Caesar’s Story
Other Books
Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films
Soundtracks
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | War for the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album)
Video Games
Plague Inc: Simian Flu | Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier | Crisis on the Planet of the Apes VR


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