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Icon disease.png

The New Plague[1][2] is an infectious disease and socially transmitted plague which first arose in the 2050s within the United States. The epidemic became the driving force behind the Pan-Immunity Virion project that paved the way for development of the Forced Evolutionary Virus.


The New Plague was a highly virulent contagion that was easily spread from person to person. The usual methods of controlling the spread of the disease were isolation and containment.[3] The worst symptoms included profuse sweating, unexplained contusions and swelling, and eventually terminating in massive external hemorrhaging.[4]


The New Plague was so widespread that a national quarantine was mandated in 2053.[Non-canon 1][Non-canon 2] In 2055, West Tek started to develop a cure for the plague, establishing the West Tek Research Facility.[1] The government used the paranoia surrounding the virus to discourage assemblies, fuel anti-communist sentiment, and encourage informing government forces of suspected subversive elements. The government further used New Plague to register civilians, claiming a symptom of the plague was "socialist thoughts" and advocating isolation: people should stay indoors, read books, and avoid "ice cream socials."[5] Citizens were told that if they believed they were infected, they were to contact a disease control center, such as the disaster relief outpost in Point Lookout.[4]

West-Tek was ultimately unable to develop a cure, despite their close ties to the federal government and their work in viral research through the Pan-Immunity Virion, and subsequent FEV, projects. Control of the West Tek Research Facility was handed over to the military in 2071.[1][Non-canon 1]

Van Buren

Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on information from Van Buren design documents and is not canon.

The New Plague was meant to play a much larger role in the story of Van Buren, the canceled second iteration of Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios. In the game, it also went by the names of the Blue Flu,[Non-canon 3][Non-canon 4] and Limit 115.[Non-canon 5]

Van Buren background

Appearing in 2053, the illness killed approximately 200,000 citizens in the United States, largely in Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs. Due to the rapid spread and death toll throughout the country, a national quarantine was put in place in by the end of 2053, and several emergency programs were established to find a cure for the plague.[Non-canon 4]

Despite West-Tek's efforts to research a cure, they were unable to find one that lasted, only developing temporary treatments for it. A second outbreak occurred in 2062, fueling national paranoia.[Non-canon 3] Government suppression ensued, with some being imprisoned for carrying the virus.[Non-canon 5] In February 2077, a third outbreak occurred, and FEV research was leaked to the world through an unknown source, which led to widespread protests in many major cities and governments around the world, as well as accusations that the U.S. was responsible for the New Plague in the first place.[Non-canon 1][Non-canon 3]

After the War, NCR scientist Victor Presper, through extensive research, discovered the history of Limit 115 and its genocidal potency and also discovered a viable means to cleanse the world. Using ULYSSES, the quarantine prison, and a ballistic satellite known as B.O.M.B.-001, the way to human planetary domination and order became clear. He needed to get to B.O.M.B.-001 and use the nuclear weapons to clean the filth and wretch that currently occupied the surface.[Non-canon 6]

Presper and his followers released the New Plague virus in the remote areas near Boulder and Denver. It was close enough to the quarantine prison to spur ULYSSES into action, but not near enough to huge populations to start a general panic. Presper’s men would then stage an attack on the prison which would allow everyone to escape. This event would start a countdown of sorts for missile launch on B.O.M.B.-001. ULYSSES would assess the viral spread, try to gather up the escaped prisoners, and once 90% of the prisoners had been retrieved, launch nuclear missiles to “clean & prevent” any further infection. By the time this happened, Presper had planned to be on, and in full control of, B.O.M.B.-001, and reprogramming targeting solutions to clean the areas he wanted.[Non-canon 6]

Humans of Presper's choosing would wait out the second nuclear holocaust in the Boulder Dome, until the day came where he declared the Earth safe for pure-blood humans once more. The only thing that was a time-consuming factor for his plan was figuring out the launch codes on the satellite. However, he believed he was far more intelligent than whoever who originally programmed the launch computers on B.O.M.B.-001.[Non-canon 6]

Van Buren characteristics

Research indicated that the virus could go dormant in human cells, reoccurring at a later date, those individuals having been carriers the entire time, and a temporary solution in the form of a nutrient paste was developed to keep victims alive and their symptoms at bay. Several other serums and antibiotics were developed but were likewise temporary due to the virus' ability to mutate.[Non-canon 7][Non-canon 8]

The time of incubation of the virus varies, taking between three to five days. Initial symptoms greatly resemble the classic flu.[Non-canon 3][Non-canon 4] It may also result in clogged respiration, leading to death through asphyxia (deriving the name Blue Flu). Should anyone survive the plague, they are rendered completely sterile by the virus.[Non-canon 8][Non-canon 4] After the war, multiple mutated strains of the plague emerged.[Non-canon 9]

Gametitle-VB.pngEnd of information based on information from Van Buren design documents and is not canon


The New Plague is mentioned in Fallout, the Fallout 3 add-on Point Lookout, the Fallout 76 update Wild Appalachia, Fallout Tactics[Non-canon 10] and Fallout Shelter.[Non-canon 11] It is also mentioned in the Fallout Bible and the canceled Van Buren.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Vault Dweller: "{112}{}{Tell me about this installation.}"
    ZAX 1.2: "{117}{}{This installation was established in 2055 as a biological research facility for experimental cures of the New Plague. However, in 2071, this facility was placed under United States military command.}"
    ZAX 1.2: "{118}{}{Research into possible cures for the New Plague created the Forced Evolution Virus, which was further developed in an attempt to create a transmittable genetic-engineering virus -- in effect, infectious evolution.}"
  2. Pioneer Scout camp terminal entries; Medic exam
  3. Disaster relief outpost terminal entries; terminal, Remember to C.I.R.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Disaster relief outpost terminal entries; terminal, Know the Signs!
  5. Disaster relief outpost terminal entries; terminal, Protect Yourself!


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fallout Bible 0 Timeline repair: Second strike:
    "2053 The socially transmitted "New Plague" arises, killing tens of thousands. The United States closes its borders and the first-ever national quarantine is declared. The source of the plague is unknown, but rumors persist that it is a genetically engineered weapon."
    "2062 Despite quarantine measures, the New Plague continues to spread, fueling national paranoia."
    "2073 Sept 15 As China becomes increasingly aggressive with their use of biological weapons, the United States government felt that a countermeasure was needed. The Pan-Immunity Virion Project (PVP) is officially formed and plans are made to begin experiments at the West Tek research facility in Southern California."
    "2077 February FEV Research is leaked to the world through an unknown source. Protests in many major cities and governments around the world, as well as accusations that the US was responsible for the New Plague. FEV is seen as the threat it is, and serves only to fuel tensions."
  2. Fallout Bible 1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Boulder design document/2 Boulder design document/3 for Van Buren
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The Prisoner: "{200}{}{PC: What is the New Plague?}"
    ZAX: "{201}{}{"Discovered in 2053, the New Plague was a socially transmitted plague that killed an approximately twenty thousand human beings in the United States, including cities such as Denver, Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, and Colorado Springs. The time of death from identification of symptoms was three to five days. Symptoms included many symptoms in common with the flu or chest cold, and eventually resulted in clogged respiration, killing the infected subject."}
    {202}{}{"The discovery of the New Plague resulted in the 2053 quarantine, and several emergency programs were established to find a cure for the plague. The Boulder Dome has limited information on the New Plague, since it was not one of the research concerns in the Boulder Dome. If you could find a medical research database concerned with the New Plague, or provide me with holodisks related to the New Plague, I could provide you with more information."}
    {203}{}{ "The only way we could fight off the New Plague was by creating better humans."}"
    (ZAX in Boulder dialogue pieces)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Hoover Dam design document p. 40: "Mallet McBride - " If it weren't for the fact that Mallet was in prison for carrying Limit 115, he would be either in someone else's prison, or dead from a gunshot wound to the head."
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 B.O.M.B.-001 design document for Van Buren
  7. Boulder design document p. 5: "Nutrient paste and how it keeps plague victims alive and their symptoms dormant. Keeps the PC from infecting new areas if it's taken at regular intervals."
  8. 8.0 8.1 Boulder design document p. 15: "Plague-combatting research particularly about the New Plague. Many serums and antibiotics were developed but they only seemed to generate a temporary reprieve, as it came back in different forms that affected survivors of the previous outbreak. Much propaganda was created about hygiene and inoculations, and that helped slow its progress. Outbreaks occurred in 2053-55, 2062-63, and again in 2077. Can go dormant in the cells, only to break out later, making seemingly "cured" people into carriers. Original versions didn't seem to cause sterility."
  9. Boulder design documents: "Buried in the logs are the notes on the original plague research and why FEV was proposed to counter it. You can learn about the different strains here, too (collapse above quest into this). You can even take it to the Nursery, either by holodisk or by transmission, where Diana can get a head start on finding a cure. Strains of the plague: Player Strain, Road Strain (Eddie, Helen, kids), Scientist Strain aka Old Strain aka Zero Strain (scientists). The scientists got it from a lab they shouldn't have opened."
  10. Fallout Tactics intro
  11. Vault dweller: "Don't get too close. I think I'm coming down with something."
    Vault dweller:"Oooh, what is it? Black Death? Typhus? Super Ebola? The Blue Flu?"
    (Vault dweller conversations)