"The Rot" was the nickname for a genetically transmitted disease which exclusively affected Selelvians (the true name was apparently very long and complicated to pronounce, so even doctors tended to just call it 'the Rot'). Symptoms included abdominal cramps, headaches, nausea drowsiness and lethargy.
History and specificsEdit
It usually did not strike until middle age, although approximately three to four percent got it in their youth. There was no vaccine or cure for the Rot as of the year 2365. In general the Rot only affected a very small percentage of the Selelvian population, which was later attributed as one of the reasons there had been little research done into finding a cure.
That year, Jaan Devin, a Selelvian friend of Wesley Crusher, became afflicted with the Rot, as had his parents before him. He unintentionally used his Selelvian power of suggestion, known as "The Knack," to prompt Wesley to focus all his efforts into finding a cure for the disease, to the detriment of everything else in his life. A Kreel named Aneel promised to cure Jaan of the Rot in exchange for access to the Enterprise's armory and, later, assistance in taking the bridge. After this, Aneel killed Jaan, reasoning that death cured everything. (TNG novel: Strike Zone)