When undergoing the process of infestation, terran subjects develop a link with the zerg's telepathy. While not yet under control, they can intelligibly communicate with the hive mind and warrior breeds refrain from attacking them. The infected sometimes relive their previous memories in an attempt to mentally break down the subject, even if these were suppressed by neural resocialization. The hive mind will often manifest in the victim's memories as a reflection of them, encouraging them to willingly join the Swarm in their moment of panic. The zerg can, however, "break" those who do not mentally submit willingly. Other symptoms have included paranoia and adverse physical symptoms, such as sweating (akin to a fever), followed by coughing up blood. Additionally, infection can manifest in the epidermis being taken over by a purple substance, akin to creep.
The virus mutates extremely rapidly, making the possibility of a cure seemingly impossible, though some serums are able to slow the spread of infestation. The protoss were able to devise a nano-tech serum that could temporarily reverse the effects of infestation, and Confederate remnants developed a way to partially preserve the subject's sanity, but this nanite solution failed and was overcome by the virus. By then the Swarm had developed a particularly virulent strain of the virus, which caused zergling-like claws to grow out of infested troops. The infested were also left with enough intellect to still operate basic weaponry. However, the virus renders those infected vulnerable to UV radiation.
This article or section contains information derived from Co-op Missions, and should not be considered part of the official StarCraft storyline.
The organic components of adjutants are susceptible to infestation.
During the End War, Amon's forces weaponized a particularly virulent strain of the virus. Those infested moved at a frightening speed and rapidly proliferated the disease. Hallucinogens in their blood were able to cause hysteria in even the most stalwart warriors.Alexei Stukov utilized the zerg virus to infest his former battlecruiser Aleksander, as well as deploy infested terrans, infested siege tanks, infested banshees, infested liberators, and infested diamondbacks.