The virus was a worldwide pandemic that wiped out the entire adult population, leaving kids and teenagers to survive on their own in a ruined civilsation.
The origins of the virus were unknown to the public. In some of the governments' classified documents, there were references to bacterical warfare, genetic engineering and germs from outer space.
Governments of the world co-operated with the United Nations Emergency Task Force in a top secret project to survive and mitigate the effects of the virus. They established a series of military bases in key strategic points around the world, which contained compounds to house top scientists, leading members of the government and talented minds. The bases were customised from earlier designs for nuclear proof bunkers and shelters from the Cold War. The scientist were going to continue trying to find a cure for the virus.
Similar ocean-based approaches were taken, where fleets carrying important cargo were sent to sea, like the Jzhao Li, hoping to keep the inhabitants quarantiened so they could one day return to land and rebuild civilisation. However, the virus reached the ships as well. At the height of the pandemic, the governments were even planning to implement a repopulation program.
In order to minimise panic, a program of propaganda was wdesigned to drip feed information as the governments saw fit.
- Jane Gideon wrote in her journal that the engineers who showed symptomps of the pandemic succumbed to "R18SYT," which was accelerating within its mutation. This could be a possible alternative name for the virus.
The virus is the basis of the series. The story begins after this virus "wasted" all adults in the world leaving kids to survive on their own. The origins of this virus are unknown. Some have speculated that perhaps a formula was created that was a "fountain of youth", so to speak, for adults. In other words they were able to look young forever or live forever or something of that nature. But something went wrong with this formula quickly killing off all the adults. Undoubtedly there have been many other theories, such as when debris from a comet fell to Earth, which contained the virus. In series 2, Jack and Ellie found a messed up tape, which contained a message from what is assumed to be the US President, informing us of this. In series 2, it was also revealed that Danni's father was involved in the accidental unleashing of the virus. The devastating effects of this virus left children all alone in a big world. Many started "tribes" which were very much like families in order to survive. Everyone looked after one another. Some tribes were good, some were bad.In series one, it seemed kids were not immune to the virus effects and many started aging rapidly and dying. This caused the Mallrats to search for answers and eventually, an antidote. Lex got the virus but he survived; his old friend Glen also caught the virus but he died. In the series 1 finale they discovered an antidote, although only Tai-San and later Bray and Ebony knew the formula. Kids were able to survive the virus because the antidote was distributed freely. Eventually, in series 2, it transpired that they didn't have to take the antidote any more, either because their bodies had adapted to the virus or because the disease organisms have left. In the final episodes of series five, a new virus was unleashed on the city and the Tribes evacuated.