Item #: SCP-609
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: Personnel working with SCP-609 are required to wear hearing protection at all times. All work on SCP-609 is to be conducted in soundproof rooms. The doors to said rooms are to be equipped with decibel meters and programmed not to open if sound levels on the SCP's side register thirty decibels or higher.
Description: SCP-609 is a short sequence of electronic tones easily generated by most modern telephone ringers, capable of a severe level of neurological damage over the course of repeated exposure. The tune is a simple polyphonic complement to several major cell phone manufacturers' default ringtones and is described by most listeners as 'catchy' or 'a real earworm'. Exposed individuals report an inability to purge the sound from their thoughts unless the original is replayed in their hearing from start to finish.
This means of treatment is highly inadvisable. SCP-609 is, in essence, a fundamentally neurotoxic sound. The sequence of sounds and tones generated in the course of SCP-609 induces [DATA EXPUNGED] prolonged inhalation of opiate vapor. Results begin with inattention, forgetfulness, and changes in personality, swiftly progressing to difficulty with cognitive function and equilibrioception. Patients at the two-month mark begin to exhibit ████████████ and ████████████ ███████. Shaking of the limbs and [DATA EXPUNGED], often continuing long past the victim's inevitable loss of ability to speak. Progression to death occurs over approximately eighteen months.
SCP-609 is not immediately fatal or toxic, but requires cumulative exposures over the span of two months frame in order to induce fatal effects. Research into the minimum exposure necessary is ongoing.
SCP-609 encephalopathy's course of progression is virtually identical to that of kuru, a prion disease endemic to the Fore people of Papua New Guinea. Given that kuru's primary vector of transmission is the endocannibalistic funeral practices of the Fore people, in which relatives consume the corpse of the deceased, its appearance in major population centers caused something of a stir. While prion particles were found in the brains of its victims, the etiological agent was ultimately identified elsewhere. All victims were recent purchasers of cellular phones (or, in two cases, office telephone systems), and had received several hundred telephone calls within the past month and a half. Foundation agents eventually uncovered a group of recently hired audio engineers who had been experimenting with improving the sound quality of ring tones in general. As the engineers had tested the ringtones primarily on office temps, the majority had escaped infection themselves. The unaffected engineers were immediately hired by the Foundation, with the rest [DATA EXPUNGED].
Personnel assigned to SCP-609 who wish to rid themselves of possible transmission vectors may submit purchase receipts of new telephones and other such devices for full reimbursement.