…while a threat to life in severe cases, most cases of blue-blotch fever are temporary, and can be cured with prolonged off-site bed rest.
Another danger of the lower tunnels is the silver plague.
Before entering the lower tunnels of the first, third or seventh excavations, stop at the checkpoint and perform a careful self-examination of all limbs for open wounds. Any cut or other open wound, no matter how small, may provide a pathway for silver plague infection. If any are found, report yourself off tunnel duty until it has fully healed. Remember, you have only one life.
While unusually regular, glistening, moist, or oily-appearing surfaces are the most common source of infection, no surface in the lower tunnels can be considered entirely safe. People have contracted the silver plague through wound contact with surfaces not fitting that description in any particular.
Signs of the silver plague include scarring, fast-growing gangrene and severe bruising spreading around the entry wound, fever, pallor, headache, and malaise. If the scarring or gangrenous region is cut into, a grittiness can be felt, and occasionally flecks of metallic-gray dust can be seen. If you observe any of these symptoms in yourself or your colleagues, report them to a supervisor AT ONCE. The silver plague is universally lethal within two days, and once the infection begins to spread to other parts of the body, which may happen within hours of the initial contact, it becomes impossible to treat. Early detection and cauterization or, in severe cases, amputation of the affected body part is the only known efficacious treatment.
Know that your willingness to face these hazards in the pursuit of greater understanding of our past is appreciated. “Knowledge is its own justification.”
– Worker’s Cautionary Guide, from the Iniscail Lunar Library Archaeological Initiative