Project Zomboid infection detailed guide

Do you want to learn more about infections in Project Zomboid? This game includes a range of illnesses that can turn you into a zombie or even result in death. Some infections are relatively harmless, but others can be deadly.

This guide will supply all the details you need about the game’s infections and the different illnesses that can occur as you strive to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Project Zomboid infection – how to get

The game code shows that bites and infections are treated as separate issues. Infections are classified as “non-lethal wound infections,” while bites cause zombie infections. Unfortunately, no known functions provide the probability of surviving a bite. Therefore, it can be assumed that bites are fatal.

In Project Zomboid, various illnesses can make you sick, including the Knox Infection, which is incurable and causes zombification. You may also experience infection symptoms from food poisoning (or tainted water) and illnesses such as colds and wound infections.

Resting and consuming food and beverages can help you recover from food poisoning and colds. Handling wound infections is complex, but this guide will discuss them further.

It’s important to note that scratches, lacerations, and bites from a zombie can easily transmit the Knox Infection, which is always fatal and turns you into a zombie upon death.

Scratches can occur from things like broken glass or climbing through a window. They can cause bleeding and lower your health, but you can treat them with a bandage or ripped sheet.

However, if a zombie scratches you, it is extremely risky because there is a 7% chance that you might turn into a zombie. In Project Zomboid, lacerations are more dangerous than scratches because they cause more blood loss and lead to a faster death.

Although the same thing causes them, lacerations are far more serious. If you get a laceration from a zombie, there’s a 25% chance that you’ll develop the Knox Infection and become a zombie yourself.

What happens if you get bitten?

Getting bitten in Project Zomboid will result in your character’s death. The reason is that bites cause the Knox Infection, which will turn you into a zombie upon your character’s death.

The gradual process will cause your character to deteriorate over days until they perish. When you get bitten, there’s no way to prevent infection. We suggest using the time after the bite to gather food and medicine in your base to prepare for your next character.

If you decide to start in a new world instead of finding your previous base, you should quit the current game after getting bitten and restart. However, if you want to watch your character die, you can keep playing for another hour.


In the case of zombie infection, no distinct moodles are unique to it. Rather, the symptoms of the infection will appear alongside moodles caused by other illnesses such as the common cold or food poisoning.

The main signs

The following are the direct indicators of a zombie infection:

  1. Pain: you will experience pain immediately after being wounded. This pain may increase or decrease over time but is unlikely to disappear without medication.
  2. Sickness and/or anxiety: within the first 48 hours of infection, you may experience low-level moodles, such as queasy. As time goes on, these feelings may become more severe.
  3. Draining health: your health will likely decrease over time as the infection takes hold.

If you are experiencing pain, anxiety, and sickness without any other apparent cause, you may have a zombie infection, particularly if these symptoms are recurring or intensifying.

Similar conditions

Pain caused by an infected wound or recent injury can be treated by cleaning the wound with alcohol or disinfectant and/or stitching the wound. Sickness caused by exposure to rain may lead to contracting the flu, which can be treated with appropriate medication.

Decreasing health caused by deep infected wounds, serious flu, glass fragments, or lodged bullets can be treated with their respective medical treatments. This will stop the drainage of health and eventually lead to an increase in health.

The zombie infection in the game is permanent and will gradually worsen over time, constantly reducing the player’s character’s health. Unfortunately, no antidote for the infection exists, and no known survivors have been bitten.

It is worth noting that the game’s radio and TV broadcasts suggest that the infection can spread through the air, but the player character is immune to this particular strain.

Sickness moodles

In Project Zomboid, there are four types of sickness moodles: Queasy, Nauseous, Sick, and Fever. These moodles show how your character’s health can decline when sick.

You can get these moodles from various sources, such as food poisoning, colds, and the Hypochondriac trait. If you have been scratched or wounded by a zombie, one of these moodles could signify that the zombie has infected you.

As you progress through these moodles from queasy to fever, your character’s health deteriorates rapidly, and they become weaker.

How to know about infection

To check your health, click the heart icon to open the medical panel. Here, you’ll see a section for each body part and limb of your character, along with any injuries you have in those areas.

The health menu will also show any general infections that may arise from your wounds. The health menu in Project Zomboid displays any scratch, laceration, bite, or injury you have sustained.

However, it won’t indicate whether you’ve caught the Knox Infection and are turning into a zombie. Fortunately, there are recognizable symptoms of the Knox Infection that you should watch for.

If you experience sickness moodles after being scratched, lacerated, or bitten by a zombie, and it is not indicated as infected on the health menu, it is highly likely that you are turning into a zombie and have only a few days left.

However, you have a treatable wound infection if it is listed as infected. Remember that sickness moodles may also appear due to food poisoning, so avoid consuming raw or spoiled food.

If you are sick because of food poisoning, stay in your base and ensure that you stay well-fed, hydrated, and rested until the sickness subsides.

How to cure an infection

As stated previously, the zombie infection is incurable. If you notice symptoms of illness in your moodles, there is no indication of food poisoning or any other illness in your health status.

Still, if you have sustained a scratch, laceration, or bite from a zombie, you have been infected and will not survive. A cure is available in case of a non-zombie-related general infection.

To prevent infection, immediately disinfect the wound caused by any injury (like handling broken glass) with alcohol wipes or disinfectant and then cover it with sterilized bandages or rags. If an infection still occurs, take antibiotics to fight it.

If you don’t have medical supplies, use a ripped sheet as a bandage to treat a wound. Remember to change it regularly to prevent infection.

The health panel will indicate when a bandage needs changing. Keep an eye on the health panel to avoid infection. This is especially important when wearing a bandage.

You can use your inventory items or access the health menu to perform these actions. To treat a specific injury, right-click on it from the health menu. If you need to change a dirty bandage, remove it from the health menu and apply a new one to the same area.

To remove bullets and glass shards, use tweezers to carefully pull out the fragment from within your wound. Afterward, disinfect the wound, stitch it up with needle and thread, and finally wrap it in a bandage.

Other health problems

Colds are not caused by open wounds or injuries, similar to how food poisoning occurs differently. Instead, you can catch a cold like in real life by being in cold weather or wearing wet clothes for an extended period.

You can identify if you have a cold by experiencing moodles associated with it, such as coughing or sneezing and having a runny nose, sniffles, or a nasty cold.

If left untreated, a runny nose and sniffles may worsen and cause occasional sneezing. The cold can also lead to coughing, reduced mobility, slower healing, and an unpleasant mood.

Eating well and avoiding further exposure to cold or wet conditions is important to treat a cold. The symptoms will eventually disappear, and your character will return to good health.

However, if you have a cold, be cautious when exploring. Coughing and sneezing are inevitable and can attract zombies if you don’t cover your mouth with a tissue to reduce noise.

This can quickly lead to a horde and put you in danger. So, while a cold may not seem like a big deal, it can lead to deadly situations. If you need some tissues to quiet your coughs and sneezes, you can typically find them in bathroom cabinets. It’s best to search around suburban neighborhoods and look inside homes.

A single tissue can be used to cover up to 10 coughs or sneezes before it needs to be replaced. While you can find used tissues in cars and trash cans, they won’t be as durable as new ones.

We have discussed diseases and infections that you can acquire, but injuries are also possible. You may suffer a fracture if you fall from a high height or have a car accident.

Fractures can negatively affect your health until they are healed. For instance, a fractured arm can reduce combat effectiveness, and fractured legs will slow your movement.

To heal a fracture in Project Zomboid, you must create a splint by combining a ripped sheet with a tree branch, sturdy stick, or wooden plank from the crafting menu. Tree branches are the easiest to locate early on as they often appear while foraging.

In Project Zomboid, you can also suffer from burns which can be very problematic as your health will decrease quickly near a fire. However, the good news is that recovering from a burn is quite easy.

The first step is to quickly bandage the burned area and change the bandage as needed, just like with a regular wound. Even though burns take a while to heal completely, by consistently changing the bandage, you should be able to recover to full health.

In conclusion, you should be mindful of several diseases and infections in Project Zomboid. If you notice any symptoms of a zombie infection, you will likely have been infected with the Knox virus and will not survive.

However, if your health menu indicates an infection from another source, such as food poisoning or general wounds, there may still be hope for recovery.

Ensure to disinfect all open wounds immediately upon receiving them to prevent infection, and wear clean bandages regularly until they heal completely.

In case of a fracture or burn injury, create splints or change bandages often to ensure full healing without further complications. Keep your character well-fed and hydrated to avoid sickness and moodles due to hunger/dehydration so that you can stay safe during your adventures.

Peter Lyakh

I write reviews, guides, tips and interesting facts about a wide variety of RPGs on the market. In addition, I offer my vision of the best characters, progression, and ways to play that can help beginners improve their skills and gaming experience.

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