Project Zomboid – What to Do When Sick

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In Project Zomboid, encountering sickness is an inevitable part of what you must suffer. Instead of trying to avoid it, you should know what to do to deal with it.

There are 6 causes of sickness, meaning it’s pretty easy to suffer from them. This guide will show you what to do when sick in Project Zomboid.

Recommended Read: How to Get Into a Gunstore in Project Zomboid

When you’re sick in Project Zomboid, the best and most common way to treat it is to find a safe place to rest. Eating food to get a well-fed status can also slightly reduce Sickness levels. Moreover, eating lemongrass decreases the level of sickness by 12%.

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What To Do When Sick in Project Zomboid

In Project Zomboid, sickness increases weakness, which leads to low damage against zombies, reduces carrying capacity, and can even kill you.

Therefore, it’s necessary to learn the cause of sickness, its symptoms, and what to do with it.

The Cause of Sickness

By understanding the factors that lead to sickness, you can avoid getting sick again and increase your chances of survival.

In Project Zomboid, there are 6 causes of sickness:

  • Eating raw/bad food.
  • Drinking tainted water.
  • Staying near many rotting corpses.
  • Being infected by the zombies.
  • Smoking.
  • Being Wet.

Let’s get into the details!

1. Eating Raw/Bad Food

Some foods and vegetables are perishable, meaning you can’t eat them when they’re labeled “Rotten”. If you keep eating them, you’ll definitely get sick.

Besides, raw foods such as meat, eggs, or steak should be cooked before consumption. Otherwise, they can cause sickness and even poison your character.

You can read the food information before eating to find out. If they’re labeled “Uncooked” in their names and displayed as “Dangerous uncooked”, you shouldn’t eat them without cooking.

To deal with perishable food/vegetables, it’s better to dispose of them once they’re rotten. Besides, you should preserve non-rotten food in the refrigerator or freezer, which can slow the perish time 5 times (refrigerator) or up to 25 times (freezer).

Instead of eating raw foods, we suggest finding a heat source to cook them first. You can check out this post to learn more about cooking.

2. Drinking Tainted Water

You can get fresh water from toilets, sinks, and bathtubs. However, they’re not available when you’re outside.

If you drink water from rivers, lakes, or rain collector barrels, there’s a high chance you’ll get sick after that, as water from these resources is marked as “Tainted”.

You should drink water from clean sources if possible. Otherwise, water from environmental sources must be boiled first until the “Tainted Water” icon disappears.

3. Staying Near Many Rotting Corpses

Your character can smell (indicated by the text over the head) or see the flying buzzing around if many dead bodies are nearby. If you stay too close to a bunch of corpses (more than 20), you’ll have a high chance of getting sick.

Typically, you can clean all the corpses using fire. In that case, you can equip a lighter and gas can in your primary and secondary, then gather all the dead bodies at the same spot. Then right-click on one of them and select “Burn Corpse”.

Keep in mind that you need an extinguisher or water in your inventory to prevent the fire from spreading.

Besides, you should keep yourself at least 13 tiles away from the rotting corpses if you’re outside. It’s also simple to deal with corpses inside if you’re on a different floor.

4. Being Infected By The Zombies

Any damage from the undead has the risk of causing zombification, especially a bite.

Unfortunately, similar to zombification, you can’t cure sickness if you suffer from zombies. In that case, it’s advisable to check out this post to learn what to do when getting bitten.

5. Smoking

Although smoking can reduce stress, it might cause sickness.

In the early game, consider choosing the Smoker trait to reduce the chance of getting sick from smoking, but it’s worth mentioning that you’re still sick if you smoke too many (more than 5 cigarettes).

6. Being Wet

Staying outside when it’s raining, over-sweating, and over-exertion get your character and clothes wet, which causes sickness when the level of wetness is “Soaking” or “Drenched”.

To reduce the effects of being wet in Project Zomboid, you can keep yourself indoors, away from the rain, for a while. Alternatively, standing near a heat source can help dry the character’s clothing and body.

Symptoms of Sickness

If you, unfortunately, encounter any of the situations mentioned above and, after a while, you notice a pale, tongue-out icon in the top-right corner of the screen, then you’re sick.

There are four levels of sickness in Project Zomboid:

LevelSickness Level to AppearEffect
Queasy25%– Increases body temperature generation.
Nauseous50%– Decreases carrying capacity by 1.
– Increases body temperature generation.
– Reduces healing when sickness from rotten food or corpses.
Sick75%– Decreases carrying capacity by 2.
– Increases body temperature generation.
– Significantly reduces healing when sickness from rotten food or corpses.
Fever90%– Decreases carrying capacity by 3.
– Significantly increases body temperature generation.
– Substantially reduces healing when sickness from rotten food or corpses.

In general, you’ll lose your health at any level if you are poisonous (drink tainted water, eat wild mushrooms) or infected. When you’re at the fever level, your health decreases drastically.

To check the sickness level, you must first enable debug mode, go back in the game, click on the mosquito icon on the left side of the screen, select “General Debuggers” => “Moodles and Body”, then locate the sickness bar.

Although you can’t manually adjust sickness stats, you can indirectly adjust FoodSicknessLevel, so that your Sickness stat also changes.

What to Do When Sick

Here are our recommendations on how to cure sickness in Project Zomboid.

1. Find a Place to Rest

The most common way to get rid of sickness is to find a safe place to rest and stay far away from zombies. In that case, find a secure home, close all curtains and doors, then sit on the ground and wait for the sickness icon to disappear.

You’ll lose your health when you’re at the Fever level, but don’t worry because it will gain again when the sickness level reduces.

2. Consuming Food

Cooking and consuming food also help reduce sickness. If you’re inside houses, use the oven, follow the recipe, and cook nutritious, high-calorie food.

Being well-fed helps you regain your strength, carry capacity, and healing rate, which contradicts what sickness causes, thus helping reduce sickness.

3. Eating Lemongrass

Eating lemongrass can reduce sickness by 12%, but it only affects you the first time you consume it. Therefore, you should only eat 1 lemongrass each time you’re sick to reduce sickness and preserve the rest.

Lemongrass is located in deep forests, farmlands, and farm zones. You can forage for lemongrass at level 0 foraging skill, but keep in mind that it’s challenging to get lemongrass due to its rarity.

Moreover, choosing the Park ranger occupation, Herbalist, and Lucky traits (or reading the herbalist magazine) slightly increases the chance of finding lemongrass.

That’s what to do when sick in Project Zomboid.

Have any suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Binh Tran

As a game writer, my goal is to craft engaging, informative, and concise articles. Whether it's diving into the latest gaming trends or writing game guides, I'm always excited to share my insights with others.

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