Item #: SCP-3690
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: 1 D-class host is to be maintained for SCP-3690's continued survival. Meals should consist primarily of liquid substitutions rather than solid food, due to the pain of attempting to digest solid food. While flares are not occuring, the host should be treated with 5-10mg of colchicine and 145-290mcg of linaclotide, depending on their weight. During flares, analgesia and NSAIDs should be added to the medication regime. When host requires administration of life support systems, suicide watch is to be implemented. 24-hour surveillance of the host is to be implemented following the events of 09/██02.
A population of Ixodes scapularis is to be kept on-site to implement efficient infection of a new host after the current one expires. Areas which the black-legged tick inhabits are to be monitored for unknown autoimmune conditions. Any parasites that are found in the wild are to be surgically removed and incinerated, and a cover story explaining the death of the host is to be disseminated to the next of kin. Due to the medical complications inherent in SCP-3690 infection, and the specific criteria for infection, infections are easily spotted and contained before they become pandemic.
Description: SCP-3690 is a parasitic organism that replaces the human large intestine. Outside of the human body, an instance of SCP-3690 most closely resembles a human large intestine, suffering from varying severity of inflammation. 13 pairs of prolegs on the underside of the body permit limited movement of the parasite, and allow it to attach itself to the inside of the coelum. Fleshy inclusions in the faux-intestinal lining occur at random intervals along the parasite's body, which serve to store excess host blood which the parasite absorbs. When these are full, SCP-3690 can survive for up to 6 months without a host before expiring from starvation. Surgical removal of the parasite is possible, but always fatal to the host. The human autoimmune system reacts unfavorably to the presence of SCP-3690, causing periodic flares, usually once every month. Additionally, T-cells attack the parasite itself, resulting in ulceration within the parasite. This autoimmune response damages SCP-3690's ability to replace the functions of the large intestine, and can even kill the parasite if not properly treated.
The primary symptoms of the active parasite are moderate to severe abdominal pain, ulcers in the small intestine, diarrhea mixed with blood and mucus, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting1, weight loss, anemia2, and a mild fever measured at 38 to 39 °C. Occasionally, SCP-3690 will slightly change position within the body; this is not painful, but often causes distress in the host. These symptoms are continually present even outside of flares. With proper maintenance, hosts can survive for as long as healthy, non-anomalous humans, although the quality of life is greatly reduced. Colchicine treatment slightly improves these symptoms, along with suppressing attacks. The exact way in which colchicine suppresses flares is unclear, but the improvement of symptoms along with flare suppression markedly improves quality of life. Even with colchicine treatment, however, the quality of life will continue to worsen over time until they require constant medical attention. Even with proper maintenance, the host may spend several decades confined to the bed before they finally expire.
Flares develop over 2–4 hours and can last anywhere from 6 hours to 2 weeks. During a flare, the entire abdomen is affected with all signs of peritonitis, acute inflammation of the small intestine, and acute abdominal pain. Additionally, bowel movements are accompanied by painful abdominal cramping. Prolonged parasitic exposure causes flares to also induce pleuritis; pre-existing conditions can reduce the exposure time necessary for pleuritis to occur. The fleshy inclusions on SCP-3690 break the outer layer of its skin during flares, releasing the stored blood into the coelum. The purpose of this is unclear. These flares are by their nature self-limiting, but require analgesia and NSAIDs3 to treat the resulting symptoms. Left untreated, the chronic flares will cause the patient to weaken and expire over a long period of time as their joints and digestive system incur more damage than the body is capable of healing.
The parasite is transmitted through the observation of tick bites, specifically the bites of Ixodes scapularis, but only after an instance has fed on a host already infected with the parasite. Due to the relative inconspicuousness of tick bites when not affected by Lyme disease, SCP-3690 is often transmitted by a bite which displays the characteristics of Lyme disease. During the next REM sleep cycle, an instance of SCP-3690 will manifest in the coelum of the new host. It consumes the entirety of the large intestine, and attaches itself by its mouthparts to the ileocecal valve, where it feeds off of the host's blood while acting as a non-anomalous large intestine. It will continue to do so until the host expires. Once SCP-3690 can no longer feed, it will detach itself, exit the host through the digestive system, and attempt to locate a new host. However, due to the fact that SCP-3690 has no way to enter the coelum of a new host, it can only attach itself to the outside of the human body. After 36 hours outside of a host, or after the blood reserves have been depleted, SCP-3690 will vanish completely. It is unknown as to where SCP-3690 departs to, or where it manifests from upon infection.
The first instance of SCP-3690 was discovered in ██████,████████, after routine record-checking of the state hospitals uncovered a patient suffering from an unknown autoimmune condition. Medical scanning revealed the presence of SCP-3690, and the host was quarantined pending SCP designation. When the host's child began displaying similar symptoms, the entire family was brought into containment. Surgical intervention on the younger host proved unsuccessful, but provided new information about the parasite. The removed parasite survived for 6 months before finally vanishing. An analysis of the symptoms displayed by the host of SCP-3690 compared with lists of patients with unidentified autoimmune disorders revealed several other infectees, with a statistical imbalance towards doctors and families in areas where Lyme disease is common. Interviews revealed that the infectees had not necessarily been infected with Lyme themselves, but had observed the bite of someone who had.
Prolonged D-class testing was approved on 01/██/██97.