The Captain Trips Virus

The Captain Trips virus.

Captain Trips is a nickname for the constantly shifting antigen virus that exterminates 99.4% of the human population in The Stand.

Developed under the code name Project Blue by a biological weapon's laboratory located beneath California's Mojave Desert, it is also known as Blue virus (Blue Virus), A-prime, A6, the rales, superflu, choking sickness, and tube neck.

The virus is set loose on the population when Charlie Campion, who was working in the base that developed it, noticed that the virus had been released in the base and managed to escape with his wife and daughter, but not before being infected with it himself. He carried the virus all the way to Arnette, Texas, before dying, thus setting in motion the events of the novel.

Description & Symptoms

Captain Trips is an extremely deadly virus, able to be transmitted as easily as the common flu it is based on, with far more lethal results. It has a communicability rate of over 99%, meaning that all but a tiny few of humans can catch it. The virus starts out like a common cold, causing weariness, nasal congestion and sneezing, and most people who catch it think that a common cold is all they have.

The superflu virus is highly adaptable, shifting and changing constantly, making medicines useless against it. At best, medicine only briefly holds off the inevitable. No vaccine was ever developed for it, before or after its escape from the lab where it was created, as its constantly-changing nature made a vaccine impossible to create.

As it progresses, Captain Trips causes increasingly-worse fever, headaches, crippling physical pain, swelling, and delirium. Victims slip in and out of consciousness, and begin thinking they are in other places, other times in their lives. Sometimes, when nearing death, victims will actually calm down and return to clear, level-headed thinking for a short time. In all cases, however, once someone has caught Captain Trips, they are dead- it's just a question of how long it will take for them to die.


  • Humans
  • Dogs
  • Guinea pigs
  • Horses
  • Monkeys

A tiny percentage of humans and dogs proved themselves immune to Captain Trips- barely enough to provide a sustainable population. It is unknown if any guinea pigs were immune, or managed to escape into the wild to survive.