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Sickness is one of the Game Mechanics in Frostpunk.


Sickness (or becoming ill) can occur to the People of your city's population for various reasons, most commonly from spending time in cold environments. Sickness also includes various injuries from workplace accidents, automaton accidents, building abilities, and certain event decisions. Sick people must be treated in a healthcare building or they will become gravely ill, which can quickly lead to death. People being treated cannot contribute to their workplace efficiency. Buildings with workers in treatment will show a warning based on how much efficiency is lost due to absent workers.

An untreated Sick person will eventually become Gravely Ill, and an untreated Gravely Ill person will eventually die. The amount of time in each stage varies by the "People's Needs" difficulty: 4 days in easy, 3 days in normal, 2 days in hard, and 1 day in extreme.

Occurrences of Sickness[]

  • Sick - requires nominal treatment time
  • Gravely ill - requires special treatment by laws or by the proper facilities
  • Frostbite - will result in amputation and causes sickness; can be mild or grave
  • Automaton injury - will result in amputation, can happen by having automatons in your city
  • Workplace accidents - shows as Sick, can happen at random, only happens to children working in the more dangerous work environments (all resource-producing buildings except hothouses)
  • Event injuries - will result in sick or gravely ill people, depending on the event.

Preventing Sickness[]

Since the most common reason for sickness is cold environments, you should always be aware of the heat level where your people live and work. "Comfortable" conditions are preferred, as this prevents illness due to cold, however maintaining this heat level for all shelters and workplaces requires strong coal production or large stores of it. Having automatons in your game introduces the chance for an automaton accident, but this is rare. Workplace injuries are seemingly unpreventable, but also rare.


Sick people will usually automatically head to an empty bed in a healthcare building. Different types of sickness require different types of treatment. Treatment can be a few hours, or up to two days depending on the level of sickness, the staffing of the facility, and the acquired medical upgrades. Without Sustain Life or Radical Treatment, gravely ill patients cannot be treated by Medical Posts, and will leave if there is a treatable patient needing the bed. Your overall treatment plan is heavily reliant on your selection between Sustain Life or Radical Treatment. Sustain Life will allow the gravely ill patient to remain in a medical post, untreated, until they can be moved to a more appropriate facility. Radical treatment will attempt to treat the patient, but approximately 30% will render the patient as an amputee and remove them from your workforce until you can provide them with a prostheses. Both Sustain Life and Radical treatment allow you to select Care House (Law) as your next law, which unlocks the Care House. The Care House can keep amputees and gravely ill patients alive at half rations (since they aren't working) until you build an Infirmary or House of Healing. It should be noted that patients admitted to a Care House no longer take up space in a tent/bunkhouse/house, as the Care House becomes their new shelter.

Various treatment types by building
Building Treats Sick? Sick Recovery Rate Treats Gravely Ill? Gravely Ill Recovery Rate Amputee Treatment?
Medical Post Yes 24h No, unless Radical Treatment (Law) or Sustain Life (Law) 48h Applies Prostheses
Care House No n/a Keeps alive for half rations n/a Keeps alive for half rations
House of Healing Yes, slightly raises hope 15h Yes, slightly raises hope 30h Applies Prostheses
Infirmary Yes 12h Yes 24h Applies Prostheses

Rates in this table are at 100% efficiency. Efficiency boosts can reduce the time it takes to cure patients.


  • A Healthcare facility's workers don't seem to get sick as long as it remains functional.