Contracting a disease weakens specific skills or attributes of your character. Disease effects remain active until cured with a potion or at a shrine, which can be found in most hold capitals. Unlike in Oblivion, there is no Cure Disease spell. One particularly notable and somewhat unique disease is Sanguinare Vampiris, which transforms your character into a vampire three days after contracting it if left untreated. Multiple disease effects stack together. Carrying a disease may cause NPCs to say that your character looks sickly or should go to bed, although Arcadia in Whiterun will say things like this even if your character is healthy.
There are a number of ways to contract diseases in Skyrim, perhaps most commonly by contact with a creature, animal, or even some NPCs. Most diseases can also be contracted through traps found outside throughout Skyrim or in various dungeons. For those diseases, the first ID in the following table is for the disease when caught from a creature, and the second ID is the trap-specific version. Although the physical effects of the two versions of the disease are the same, the descriptions are often slightly different.
|Ataxia||000b877c||Picking locks and picking pockets is 25% harder.||Skeever|
|0010a24a||Picking locks and picking pockets is 25% harder.||Traps|
|Black Heart BlightDB||xx01ff2e||Drains 10 points from Carry Weight.||None†|
|Bone Break Fever||000b877e||Drains 25 points from Stamina.||Bear|
|0010a24c||Drains 25 points of Stamina.||Traps|
|Brain Rot||000b877f||Drains 25 points from Magicka.||Hagraven|
|0010a24d||Drains 25 points of Magicka.||Traps|
|xx000872||Drains 25 points of Magicka.||ZombieCC|
|DroopsDB||xx0285c1||One-handed and two-handed weapon damage is 15% lower.||Ash Hoppers|
|Rattles||000b8781||Stamina regenerates 50% more slowly.||Chaurus|
|0010a24e||Stamina regenerates 50% more slowly.||Traps|
|Rockjoint||000b8782||You are 25% less effective with melee weapons.||Fox, Wolf|
|0010a24f||You are 25% less effective with melee weapons.||Traps|
|Sanguinare Vampiris||000b8780||Reduces Health by 25. Progresses to Vampirism.||Vampires|
|Witbane||000b8783||Magicka regenerates 50% more slowly.||Sabre Cat|
|0010a250||Magicka regenerates 50% more slowly.||Traps|
The Survival Mode Creation adds new and modifies existing diseases. They can be contracted via contact with creatures, animals, and NPCs. Left untreated, most diseases will progress from its base form to a Severe or Crippling form after 24 hours. Each form is associated with more severe symptoms.
|Disease||Description||Severe Description||Crippling Drescription||Source|
|Ataxia||Picking locks and picking pockets is 25% harder. Progresses to Severe Ataxia.||Picking locks and picking pockets is 50% harder. Progresses to Crippling Ataxia.||Picking locks and picking pockets is 75% harder.||Skeevers|
|Bone Break Fever||Drains 25 points from stamina. Progresses to Severe Bone Break Fever.||Drains 50 points from stamina. Progresses to Crippling Bone Break Fever.||Drains 75 points from stamina.||Black, Brown, and Snow Bears|
|Brain Rot||Drains 25 points from magicka. Progresses to Severe Brain Rot.||Drains 50 points from magicka. Progresses to Crippling Brain Rot.||Drains 75 points from magicka.||Hagraven|
|Brown Rot||Light and Heavy Armor prevents 25% less damage. Sleeping is 25% less restful. Progresses to Severe Brown Rot.||Light and Heavy Armor prevents 50% less damage. Sleeping is 50% less restful. Progresses to Crippling Brown Rot.||Light and Heavy Armor prevents 75% less damage. Sleeping is 75% less restful.||All varieties of Draugr|
|Droops||One-handed and two-handed weapon damage is 15% lower.||One-handed and two-handed weapon damage is 30% lower.||One-handed and two-handed weapon damage is 45% lower.||Ash HoppersDB|
|Food Poisoning||Magicka and Stamina recover 50% slower, and food no longer restores Health for 3 days.
Argonians and Khajiit are immune to this disease.
|Greenspore||Prices are 25% worse. Persuasion and intimidation is 25% harder. Progresses to Severe Greenspore.||Prices are 50% worse. Persuasion and intimidation is 50% harder. Progresses to Crippling Greenspore.||Prices are 75% worse. Persuasion and intimidation is 75% harder.||Slaughterfish|
|Gutworm||Stamina regeneration is decreased by 25%. Food restores 25% less hunger.||Stamina regeneration is decreased by 50%. Food restores 50% less hunger.||Stamina regeneration is decreased by 75%. Food restores 75% less hunger.||Standard and Frost Trolls|
|Rattles||Stamina recovers half as fast. Progresses to Severe Rattles.||Stamina recovers 75% slower. Progresses to Crippling Rattles.||Stamina no longer recovers.||Chaurus, Chaurus Hunters, and Chaurus Reapers|
|Rockjoint||You are 25% less effective with melee weapons. Progresses to Severe Rockjoint.||You are 50% less effective with melee weapons. Progresses to Crippling Rockjoint.||You are 75% less effective with melee weapons.||Foxes and Wolves|
|Sanguinare Vampiris||Reduces Health by 25. Progresses to Vampirism.||Vampires|
|Witbane||Magicka recovers half as fast. Progresses to Severe Witbane.||Magicka recovers 25% as fast.||Magicka no longer recovers.||Standard, Snowy, and Vale Sabre Cats|
|Addled||Magicka and stamina regenerate 30% slower for 24 hours.||Can be caused by lack of sleep.|
|Frostbitten||Lockpicking and pickpocketing is 30% harder, and bows do 30% less damage for 24 hours.||Can be caused by excessive cold.|
|Weakened||You are 30% less effective with melee weapons and blocking damage with your shield for 24 hours.||Can be caused by hunger.|
- Argonians and Bosmer both have a constant Resist Disease 50% ability.
- Werewolves and vampires are both immune to disease. Thus, a werewolf can never become a vampire, and the opposite holds true.
- Spell Absorption provides protection against disease, thus the Bretons are at a natural advantage. In Survival mode, Spell absorption has a chance of curing a disease when it progresses to a more severe form.
- Vigilants of Stendarr will cure diseases if asked to do so. However, they will attack vampire-infected or lyncathropy-infected individuals on sight.
- Shrines will cure diseases and confer a specific blessing.
- The Hevnoraak dragon priest mask will render you absolute immunity to poisons and diseases. However, this is not necessarily a license to act indiscriminately, since it does not protect against diseases that ignore resistances.
- The Krosis dragon priest mask will fortify alchemy, archery and lockpicking, so it can at least partially mitigate Ataxia.
- The Morokei dragon priest mask will fortify mana regeneration by 100%, so it can at least partially mitigate Witbane.
- The Rahgot dragon priest mask will increase the amount of stamina you have, so it can at least partially mitigate Bone Break Fever.
- The Nahkriin dragon priest mask will increase the amount of magicka you have, so it can at least partially mitigate Addled, Brain Rot, Food Poisoning and Witbane; however, the Miraak mask for level 60 characters is more effective owing to its effect of fortifying magicka by 70 points.
- An Altmer player can use Highborn and their passive Fortify Magicka to somewhat counter the related diseases.
- You can occasionally still contract diseases from traps despite being a vampire or werewolf, both of which have a constant 100% disease resistance, as traps apply the disease directly to you via scripts.
- This bug is fixed by version 2.0.5 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Rarely, the bone break fever disease drains 0 points from stamina instead of 25 points.