CMD phobia

CMD phobia is defined as the unwarranted fear of getting infected with Cariappa-Muren disease (CMD), or the fear that such an infection has already occurred despite evidence to the contrary. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies CMD phobia as a specific phobia with an individual diagnosis, though a competing body of research defines it as a mass psychogenic illness (MPI) due to widespread disinformation surrounding CMD.

CMD phobia is a condition that a single person may overcome with a focused intervention, but is considered challenging to address in group dynamics. When viewed in the context of socially contagious behaviour, its correlates have become a topic of increasing study and debate, with CMD phobia often described as a direct motivation for the international adoption of G6, more so than CMD itself.


CMD phobia can be diagnosed as a specific phobia in individuals. Physical, behavioural, and psychological effects of CMD phobia are broadly divided into two diagnostic categories: fear of getting infected, and fear of already being infected. It is not uncommon for the diagnosis to shift from one category into the other following a specific trigger or tipping point. [1]

Fear of infection

The primary infection vector for Cariappa-Muren disease (CMD), which is considered to be contaminated Lassgard tuna, was eliminated in 2039 with an official ban enforced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the liquidation of Lassgard Bioteknik. The fear of CMD infection is now mainly attributed to CMD’s latent potential for secondary transmissions from asymptomatic carriers.

Although infected people cannot spread CMD to others through casual contact, there is a chance of transmission through bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, milk, urine, and feces. [2] Odds of contracting CMD this way are generally very low, but people suffering from CMD phobia tend to dramatically overestimate these odds. This probability bias can result in any combination of the following effects:

  • An immediate anxiety or fear response to any mention of CMD, which may cause clinically significant distress or impairment.
  • Avoidance of public places, especially where crowds gather, and a desire to stay in a safe haven, usually at home.
  • Ascribing any variety of unusual or erratic behaviour on the part of others to the early symptoms of CMD.
  • Unfounded stigma towards those with confirmed or suspected CMD infections, resulting in discrimination and social rejection.

Fear of being infected

The nature of CMD’s etiology, in that it is a latent disease that was able to spread unchecked for five years through a globally distributed foodstuff, led to a pervasive degree of worry and uncertainty. As media prominence of CMD increased, people became compelled to reflect on the preceding five years and question whether they, or anyone they knew, had intentionally or inadvertently consumed Lassgard tuna, or come into contact with the bodily fluids of someone who did. [3] Effects of this type of recall bias may include:

  • Manifestation of physical symptoms commonly apparent with CMD that lack an underlying biological cause.
  • Immediate association of physical or psychological symptoms of other diseases, no matter how minor, with a CMD infection.
  • Concerns that are far in excess of what is appropriate for a CMD infection, which can be managed with proper treatment.
  • Reassurances from medical professionals and/or a negative CMD diagnosis are unconvincing or short-lasting.
  • Self-imposed isolation and physical distancing to avoid spreading a possible CMD infection.

See also


  1. World Health Organisation. (April 2040). “6B39: CMD phobia.” International Classification of Diseases
  2. Mathiason, C. (December 2015). “Silent Prions and Covert Prion Transmission.” PLOS Biology
  3. Da Costa Dias, B; Weiss, S. (June 2010) “A Kiss of a Prion: New Implications for Oral Transmissibility.” The Journal of Infectious Diseases