1. Overview of Nuzgûl bites
Nuzgûl bites are a frequent hazard for members of the HA List or its companion site, HASA. The following is an attempt to define the scope of the problem, and explore methods of prevention and treatment.
The bites may be sustained while on list, or at related sites, but can also be inflicted at other times, so isolation from the list at times when the bite ratio is high is not an effective prevention strategy. Further, many other sites are also host to the parasite, so the unsuspecting can be bitten at any number of venues.
There is evidence as well for transmission from individuals so that one individual 'hosting' the Nuzgûl bite may pass its ill effects along to another. There is one case on record of one individual transmitting ill effects to several others, some repeatedly, for a total of 22 separate episodes.1 Other individuals as well appear to be particularly effective at transmitting the symptoms to others.2 Because of the multiple modes of transmission, no continent is free from persons affected by Nuzgûl bites.
The Nuzgûl appears to be a harmless creature, but the bite is far from innocuous, with the potential for several ill effects. It is known to result in lost work time, decreased concentration, and various repetitive motion injuries related to keyboard use.
Bites can leave the victim with feelings of social isolation and concern over the normalcy of intense speculation on the sexual proclivities of fictional characters. Financial losses are not trivial. There is the cost to society from lost time, which is substantial. Even more notable is the cost to the individual who may feel compelled to compulsive film, video, or DVD viewing to assuage symptoms, may run up unprecedented connection time charges, and may make extensive book purchases in pursuit of more information about the pernicious creatures.
In extreme cases, especially those with repeated bites, a previously unreported type of amnesia can occur, with large amounts of time passing that the victim is unable to account for.
There is as yet no satisfactory treatment for Nuzgûl bites. Previously tried therapies, including distraction, net deprivation, and substitution of other interests have not mitigated the virulence of the condition. Behavioral modification, in the form of preagreed daily time limits on symptomatology, appears to be the only management strategy with any promise. Unfortunately efficacy is variable, it appears to reduce the ill effects in less than 70% of cases.3
Research is ongoing.
(1) Personal Communication from D_L.
(2) Observation of the HA and HASA sites, activities of M_T
(3) Personal observation.
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