After Abarra's liberation from the Reconciliation Coalition, the station quickly became a cosmopolitan place where Nebayans, Aamidali, Belhedan, Iuzhenk, and even a few Jandelings have carved a new life for themselves out of the asteroid that the station is dug into. This diversity of life also extended into other, less desirable areas. The heavy traffic hailing from many ports brought with it poached animals, some of which escaped and found ways to survive on the station. Others brought viruses, bacteria, and fungi the station had not had to deal with during its occupation.
The first two microbes were relatively easy to manage with modern medical knowledge and equipment. Combating fungi, however, has historically been a different problem throughout human civilization. While fungal infections (also known as mycoses) can affect as much as 15% of sector population, but research into the topic is often less than 3% of a system's budget, and many systems do not even have public health agencies that conduct myocological surveillance. This failure to take fungal threats seriously likely stems from the fact that a majority of mycoses are minor and easy to treat. Serious or life-threatening fungal infections mostly only affect patients who already immunocompromised or immunosuppressed. The result is a medical field where it is difficult to detect an infection because sensitive equipment is not developed, difficult to trend for an epidemic due to lack of information sharing, and difficult to encourage the development of new, aggressive drugs because companies believe they will be needed by less than 1% of a typical population.
Abarra, however, did not present as a typical population when a fungus began circulating. The post-liberation population had a high percentage of immunosuppressed and immunocompromised individuals due to organ transplants, implants, and chronic disease and radiation, and subsequent cancers some may have suffered. The fungus spread with devastating effectiveness, further aided by the fact that, despite circulating through the blood, direct blood tests successfully detected infection in only 53% of cases. Many were only able to be diagnosed with postmortem autopsies, though Abarran medics began treating any who showed signs of cardiomyopathy with antifungals in an attempt to combat the epidemic.
Because of the limited study of many fungi, the original location and name of the culprit responsible for the Abarran outbreak is unknown. It is colloquially known as Abarran Cough, Abarran Lung, or Abarran Plague, though it is unrelated to actual plague.
Early symptoms include a cough that often becomes bloody, shortness of breath, fever, chills, fatigue. Death is usually caused by fungal cardiomyopathy resulting in heart failure, pneumothorax, or multi-organ failure.