Lazar's disease was a contagious and eventually fatal disease. Its victims were referred to as Lazars. It could be transmitted through the air or by casual contact. It appeared to only affect humans or humanoids.
- Though the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, Turlough, Kari and Olvir all were in a similar situation while on Terminus, only Nyssa was infected. Anecdotally, this would suggest that the infection rate is about 1 in 6.
The victim became exhausted and confused, then took on a pale and haggard appearance, often with disfiguring lesions, becoming even more weakened. The disease could drag on, with the Lazar becoming ever weaker and more sickly, until they eventually died. They also become feverish, which lead to Nyssa removing her skirt, only wearing her underdress.
Lazar's disease could be staved off with repeated doses of hydromel or cured with massive, controlled doses of radiation. The later remedy, for obvious reasons, entailed more risk to the infected person. (TV: Terminus) Nyssa eventually found a permanent cure for Lazar's disease. (PROSE: Asylum, AUDIO: Cobwebs)
Behind the scenes
- While the most obvious real-world parallel to Lazar's disease is leprosy (both in the phonetically similar name and in the practice of isolating the infected), its treatment can be compared to cancer, which often features a treatment course that is sometimes as severe or injurious as the disease itself.