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Sickness is something that can happen to villagers in Animal Forest e+, Wild World, City Folk, New Leaf and New Horizons. Villagers can develop an ailment for a day to several days, depending on the game.
While they are sick, villagers may shiver or have the "depressed" emotion until the last day of sickness. Villagers can recover from being sick for the remainder of the day (up until midnight) if they are given medicine from Nook's Cranny (T&T Mart in New Leaf, or from crafting in New Horizons). The sickness lasts a variable amount of days, from one day to two weeks. While villagers are sick, new options will appear in the interaction menu: "Need medicine?", accompanied by another option named "Are you OK?". Selecting the "Need medicine?" option will prompt anger if the player does not actually have any medicine in their pockets, but it will open the pockets if they do have medicine. After receiving the medicine, the villager will thank the player. After the sickness passes, the villager will give the player an item if they took care of the villager while they were sick. There are also different options that appear: "Take care!", "G-R-O-S-S!", and "Uh, adios!". If the player selects "Take care!", the villager will react positively.
Sick villagers usually send the player a letter of thanks once they are better. However, some villagers may send the player a letter even if they are still unwell and have only received medicine once.
Sickness in New Leaf
In New Leaf, symptoms of sickness are more cold-based and are actually referred to as colds.
On occassions, a villager may be sick for more than once. The emotions "depression" and "fear" are still used, additionally with the new "sneeze" emotion. Sneezing is slightly more frequent in conversation. If someone in town is sick, the other villagers will know, and will sometimes tell the player that "[sick villager] has a cold" and that they should go see how they're doing.
As of the Welcome amiibo update, villagers cannot get sick. The feature was removed due to a bug (See Glitches)
Sickness in New Horizons
Sickness returns in New Horizons, and this time there are specific sickness emotions, instead of just "sneezing", "shivering", and "sadness" like in New Leaf. They might become sweaty, shivering, have a red head or nose, or just sneezing. Villagers will often mention the sick villager to the player and will have to check up on them and even give them medicine. The sick villager is always seen in pajamas. Like in previous games, the sickness only lasts for a few days, with the first day the villager feeling absolutely horrible, and the last day the villager almost feeling better. When the villager is better, they will send the player a letter that they have been cured.
Sickness rarely happens. A random villager in the island will become sick at around 5 AM at a completely random day and stay sick for a few days. If you give them Medicine they'll often reward the player with a gift.
Glitches associated with sickness
In Wild World
In Wild World, if the player is to open their town gate and have a guest come while a villager is sick, then that villager is instantly better. This was fixed in City Folk and later games, as the character will lock their house, leaving a sign saying that they are feeling ill. Sick villagers do not appear in dream towns; whilst their houses display a note preventing the player from going in, they do not mention sickness.
In New Leaf
In New Leaf, sickness was removed in the Welcome Amiibo update due to a bug in which villagers would move away without alerting the player, as sickness interfered with 'pinging'.
- Games prior to New Leaf had no "sneezing" emotion. They instead used the "anger" emotion to mimic a sneeze.
- Whenever a villager in these older games sneezed, it would shake the dialogue box.
- As of the Welcome Amiibo update, New Leaf and Animal Crossing are the only Animal Crossing games in which villagers cannot get sick.