An affliction caused from prolonged exposure to highly concentrated magic. Magic Madness was a coin termed by the media to describe the classic symptoms of the condition. Symptoms include: hallucination, rapid heartbeat, profuse sweating and eventual death if the subject is not removed from the source.
After The Canterlot Disaster, clean up crews and forensic teams in addition to government investigators scoured the area of Canterlot High School and the suburb it was in. The introduction of magic into the world had happened in such a rapid event, no substantiated data could be called hard facts. The result of this lack of knowledge was the second worst epidemic the Canterlot Commonwealth would ever see in its history. Soon after the first crews ended their work week, a few workers began complaining about symptoms consistent with a cold or flu. After that, the CCCDS began getting a flood of calls from local hospitals. Many were dealing with the onset of new magical variants of regular conditions, but an alarming number of cases started coming to the attention of the Outbreak center of the facility.
As the 2nd work week of the crews came to an end, the call rates more than doubled and were coming in from more than just construction and clean up crews, they were coming from anyone and everyone who been in the Canterlot Disaster Area. Symptoms had manifested and mutated beyond the mundane to the more serious to include cases of delirium, violent hallucinations and nearly all were falling into a coma or simply dying for no apparent reason.
The media reported on the issues and panic soon spread, blaming Twilight Sparkle for bringing an unknown pathogen into their world. The CCCDS were quick to call for calm and cited several tests demonstrating that the only remaining visitor from another dimension had been in containment, and would be unable to infect anyone even if she wanted to. This did little to quell the more hardcore critics of the government's lack of, what they felt was a lax, attitude of a potential invasion of their world by Twilight’s land. Public opinion was split down the center with half calling for a cure to this so-called Magic Madness, and the other half calling for a full investigation of Twilight and her public execution.
As the civilian population debated in town halls and online, the overall feeling for survivors and anyone associated with the Canterlot Disaster began to shift rapidly. Businesses saw fit to shut their doors to anyone not from the city and any refugees were asked to identify themselves by several community guidelines set in place for housing, food and entertainment. Bigotry towards them rose at an astounding rate as hatred and anger took the place that had once been filled with friendship and generosity.
The eventual source that was found was announced a month after first reports came through to the CCCDS. Researchers had found substantial proof by cross checking readings from victims and casualties from the explosion, and those from the clean up site neared resemblance. Further theories were proven through animal trials and some human volunteers.
Deemed ‘Magic Exposure Syndrome’, the primary effect is caused by unfiltered exposure to high levels of concentrated magic, like those in No Mans Land. Some filtering is possible but prolonged exposure even with protection leads to MES manifesting in 99.9% of all exposed.
Early symptoms are similar to influenza and serious to severe symptoms include mental conditions from a form of encephalitis, with extreme symptoms including violent outbursts and psychotic rage. The person exposed must be evacuated from the source before extreme symptoms manifest. Patients return to normal after removal from contamination with the symptoms fading proportionally to the time exposed.
No known cure is available once extreme symptoms manifest. Death occurs no less than 99% of all exhibiting such extreme symptoms, with the surviving victims institutionalized.
As a result of this horrific risk, all clean up has stopped and the government has declared the entire disaster site No Mans Land, and no longer part of the Canterlot Commonwealth. A parameter of security fencing exists to prevent unauthorized access, as does a squad of guards outside the danger zone. Some scientific monitoring posts are allowed to stay with proper protection and rotation of staff.