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SCP-XXX at 2500x magnification

Item #: SCP-XXX

Object Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-XXX colony must be maintained in a standard class III BSC (biosafety cabinet), and all research and testing conducted in a standard secured BSL-4 (biosafety level 4) facility. Personnel will observe BSL-4 protocol. Any personnel working with SCP-XXX who develop persistent headache, sudden onset facial weakness, or difficulties with coordination or speech must report immediately for quarantine and examination.

Description: SCP-XXX is a species of mite-like arthropod that infests the brain of warm-blooded animals. Adult mites are 0.2 - 0.3 mm in length. Individuals are invisible to the naked eye, but colonies are visible as a rust-like residue. Mites typically enter the host body via the ear canal or nasal cavities, boring through soft tissues until they reach the brain. Adult mites feed on brain tissue and create extensive networks of burrows for egg-laying, quickly causing significant damage and impairment.

Affected organisms will display stroke-like symptoms in the early stages of infection. Symptoms intensify over the course of several days to a week. Once the mite colony is well-established, the mites are able to directly manipulate the autonomic and somatic nervous functions of the host. Although brain damage at the stage is considerable, the mite colony is typically able to simulate near-normal behavior, bodily functions, and even social interactions of whatever host it infests. The exact method by which the colony is able to achieve this is unknown and suggests an intelligent and/or sophisticated hive mind.

When the mites have consumed the majority of the brain, they will attempt to secure new hosts. The typical method is to position the old host in a crowded area, and after a build-up of cranial pressure, [REDACTED] in a radius of six meters. Mites are able to survive outside of a host body for █ days.

There is no known treatment and infection is always fatal. Drugs or procedures that eradicate the mites are typically fatal to the host as well. Radiation treatment may be effective before mites establish large colonies, but it is almost impossible to recognize infection in its very early stages. Euthanization is recommended in all symptomatic cases.
Note: Following incident ███-█, any attempt to communicate with late-stage human hosts is strictly prohibited –O5-X

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