The Deadly Virus Known as "The Sick" on 'Sweet Tooth' Is as Scary as They Come

'Sweet Tooth' has been captivating fans ever since its release, and the in-show virus, H5G9, is part of that. So, what is it? The sickness explained.

Chris Barilla - Author

Jun. 8 2021, Published 1:04 p.m. ET

'Sweet Tooth'
Source: Netflix

Ever since Sweet Tooth officially landed on Netflix, fans worldwide have been enthralled by the dystopian future story where half-human, half-animal beings roam and the population is infected with a terrifying virus known simply as "The Sick."

This virus, referred to by in-show scientists as H5G9, is certainly not something to scoff at, as in the world of Sweet Tooth it has the power to bring global civilization to its knees.

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Lately, the real world has become no stranger to powerful viruses running rampant and upending society, but nothing is quite like what Sweet Tooth depicts in their own viral pandemic. So, what exactly is H5G9, and does it have any basis in fact? Here are all the known details of the Sweet Tooth virus explained.

'Sweet Tooth'
Source: Netflix
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The virus in 'Sweet Tooth' wipes out large portions of humanity and changes those left behind.

The disease in Sweet Tooth, known as "The Sick," has largely wiped out humanity and society by the time that viewers are shot into its world. Beyond the dwindling number of actual humans, new hybrid people that are half-animal, half-human have emerged as well and are regarded by many as a problem. Individuals and organizations hunt them down and kill them because they see them as some sort of threat.

So, is "The Sick" real? Definitely not. There really isn't any plausible scientific case for a virus of this size and power to actually take shape on our planet, but the face-value symptoms of the show's H5G9 do mimic a lot of known viruses, specifically COVID-19.

Symptoms such as coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing definitely overlap with real-world viruses, but the notion that it would culminate in a world also inhabited by hybrid babies is purely a work of fiction.

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Interestingly enough, when Sweet Tooth initially debuted as a comic book series back in 2009, the virus that destroyed humanity was known only as "The Sick." This means that the creator and/or Netflix writers took some creative liberties in the television adaptation by naming the virus H5G9.

Whether or not this decision was made to align with recent real-world events and provide another layer of spookiness to the storyline has yet to be confirmed.

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What does the show claim made the virus happen? it's a pretty wild scenario.

To further the notion that H5G9 isn't something that would likely ever happen in the real world, it's explained that the virus's origins have a mythical background. According to the storyline, a physician-in-training named James Thacker stumbled into a holy cave in 1911 after befriending a local native tribe and in doing so disturbed holy remains that triggered the virus and the birth of the aforementioned hybrid children simultaneously, wiping out native populations at the time.

The events that transpired then were largely covered up by history, and the cave was soon forgotten. Fast forward a little over a century, and Fort Smith stumbles upon the same cave and disturbs the same remains. In doing so, he unleashes the virus yet again, this time wreaking havoc on the modern world and giving birth to the likes of Gus, the show's protagonist.

Check out Sweet Tooth streaming now on Netflix.

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