Item #: SCP-2376
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-2376-1 instances are to be fed using an automated feeding system. They are to be examined once every eight hours by medical staff, and the discomfort resulting from their infections is to be alleviated as much as possible. SCP-2376-1 instances are not to be made aware of the anomalous properties of SCP-2376. In order to allow communication between SCP-2376-1 instances and personnel, a text-based communicator suitable for use by persons with severely limited mobility should be provided to each instance of SCP-2376-1. When treating SCP-2376-1 instances, medical staff should close their eyes every 5 minutes and then re-open them, in order to view any messages that may have been written. Under no circumstances are patients to be removed from their rooms or disposed of. Personnel treating SCP-2376-1 are to follow all instructions given to them without fail, and should be frequently reminded that they are treating a human being. MTF Beta-7 (Maz Hatters) are to check for instances of SCP-2376-1 in hospitals located in infected areas.
Description: SCP-2376 is a sub-strain of tetanus (Clostridium tetani) carried by the common crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos). SCP-2376 is transmissible to humans - infected humans are designated instances of SCP-2376-1. The first stage of infection, lasting anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks, is characterized by the normal symptoms of tetanus1 as well as a severe skin rash, vertigo, and a painful cough. Instances of SCP-2376-1 in their first stage will often report a constant faint odor of straw and corn, as well as describing all objects to have a rough, burlap-like texture regardless of their composition.
The second stage of the infection is when SCP-2376's anomalous properties manifest. All instances of SCP-2376-1 are perceived as a normal, inanimate scarecrow by any human observers. The observers do not appear to be aware that the infected individual is missing, or that the scarecrow has replaced it. Any vocalization by the SCP-2376-1 instances will not be registered. Motion is not visible to observers, but if a person observing an SCP-2376-1 instance breaks visual contact while the instance is moving, the instance will appear to have moved when the observer regains visual contact. Motion detectors and audio recordings will function as normal. Photographs and other visual recordings of infected subjects, however, are still not perceived normally. Death of the SCP-2376-1 instance results in the cessation of SCP-2376's effect on perception.
The loss of mobility, fever, and other symptoms can be remedied with usual tetanus treatments. The effect on perception, as of the time of writing, appears to remain even after other symptoms cease.
Murine models have indicated that SCP-2376 is capable of causing neonatal infections like its non-anomalous counterpart. After murine subjects began attempting to cannibalize infected murine subjects, it has been hypothesized that mice perceive infectees to be edible straw. As such, no humans infected with SCP-2376-1 should be allowed near mice.
Testing is ongoing around infected areas to determine if SCP-2376 has spread to any other carrier species.
Multiple corpses were discovered in the garbage disposal units of a hospital in the town of [REDACTED], Iowa. The hospital staff claimed they had disposed of scarecrows that had been left in the hospital wards and dressed in hospital scrubs as a prank.
The first instance of SCP-2376-1 is believed to be an 8 year-old boy named █████ █████ from the neighboring town of [REDACTED], who died a week before the discovery at the hospital. █████'s father was tried for murder and acquitted with an insanity defense when he called the police reporting that the spare scarecrow he had nailed up three days before had been replaced with the body of his son. █████ was determined to have died of dehydration, but autopsy revealed the presence of the SCP-2376 pathogen in his bloodstream, and his father described that he suffered symptoms similar to those seen in the infection's first stage.
Addendum: A variant of SCP-2376 has been discovered in [REDACTED], Illinois, which is transmitted by pigeons. It has similar symptoms to SCP-2376 and an identical anomalous effect, save for that the infected are perceived as mannequins. Due to the urban nature of the new strain's origin point and the increased risk for an epidemic, reclassification to Keter has been suggested.