aplastic anemia
Life Science

A disease where damage to a person's hematopoietic stem cells, the cells responsible for creating new blood, causes their bone marrow function to be decreased, which in turn results in decreased production of red blood cells, white blood cells, and megakaryocytes, the precursor to blood platelets. This can lead to anemia, increased risk of hemorrhaging and bruising, and frequent infections due to a weakened immune system. Exposure to radiation, chemical additives, or industrial chemicals such as pesticides are some of the known causes. It can also be brought on as a side effect of certain drugs. Approximately 20% of people who develop it die within a year.

Karen Hojo suffers from secondary aplastic anemia as a result of radiation exposure while living on Beyond Coast. Countless other people on Beyond, where injury from drugs is widespread, have also developed this disease due to the side effects of prescription drugs. It is considered one of the most problematic diseases of the 21st century, and has been placed in its own category on Earth. There is currently a movement going on to try to get aplastic anemia officially designated as one of the diseases of outer space, though a definitive answer has yet to emerge.

For the last several years, repatriatists have been pursuing legal action against the ISPA and the Beyond Coast government regarding the classification of this disease.