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In Trunks' future that had been destroyed by the Androids, Goku died from a Heart Virus.

Even in the alternate timeline caused by Trunks warning the Z Warriors about the Androids, Goku still contracted the Heart Virus but they already had a cure for it given by Trunks. Yet in both timelines out of all the Z Warriors Goku was the only person to contract it.

Why is this? Was it a targeted attack on him by Dr. Gero (given the timing of when it occurred)? Was Goku's diet a factor or was there something Saiyan wise that made him more susceptible which doesn't apply to Vegeta and half-Saiyans?

  • IIRC though Goku was the only Z warrior affected, plenty of other people also succumbed to this virus according to F-Trunks. A cure was developed soon afterwards but it was too late for Goku. Gero created androids for the sole purpose of defeating Goku, so him giving the virus seems to serve no purpose. – Arcane Dec 13 '16 at 2:26
  • @Arcane i do recall about the other cases but none of those were the Z Warriors which is why i asked out of all the Z Warriors why it was only Goku, i'm no microbiologist but i would think that if Goku contracted a Virus there's an equal chance the other Z Warriors would get it and if it was a matter of their trained bodies resisting the virus Goku's is just as trained if not more so. i didn't recall that the Androids were created specifically to defeat Goku so i thought they were created to further the RRA's goal in World Domination (before 17 and 18 decided to disobey and destroy the world) – Memor-X Dec 13 '16 at 2:50
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    Because Goku is the main character. It'd be much more interesting to have him contract the virus than sidekicks such as Krillin. – 絢瀬絵里 Dec 13 '16 at 9:51
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    Well the best explanation is random factor in this case. Future trunks also told that the virus infected other people as well so its doubtful that anyone made that virus to kill goku. Why it did not target others is because they had a better immune system so it managed to stop the virus. I think there is not much to say about it besides this – Proxy Dec 13 '16 at 10:02
  • Basically what Proxy and Ayase said. Some people were affected by the virus. Lets say 1 in 100. In the named DBZ characters unfortunately it was the MC Goku. But Plot Armor demands that people change time to save him! And then the story continued. – Arcane Dec 13 '16 at 18:39
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It is Highly likely that the infection rate of the virus was just exceptionally low. Infection rates vary from virus to virus. Some can only be transmitted in highly populated areas due to their low contraction rate.

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It's not clearly stated, but there are a few things we can draw inferences from.

When Goku succumbs to the effects of the virus in the battle with Androids 19 and 20 and Vegeta arrives to save the day, he criticizes Goku for his recklessness, and specifically states that his use of the Super Saiyan form accelerated his susceptibility. We are told many times, especially during the Android/Cell saga (and beyond), that the Super Saiyan form is tiring and exhausting, and requires a great deal of energy be used to activate. So much so that Goku and Gohan dedicate their training for fighting Cell to figuring out how to sustain the form indefinitely, endure it better, and save on the activation energy. A training strategy that Vegeta is loathe to admit is really quite clever.

The Z-fighters in general are in premium shape and would be most resistant to viral infections (relative to the rest of the global population) by default. But elevated levels of stress and exhaustion bring down the efficacy of the immune system.

So what we can infer from this is that the other Z-fighters had strong enough immune systems to fight it off, but Goku's failed when the virus opportunistically exploited the downsides of the Super Saiyan form. Vegeta is the only other fighter (not exactly a Z-fighter) we know that used a similarly, if not even more, exhausting training regimen and combat form. But he spent a great deal of his training time in outer space punching rocks, so may have simply avoided transmission from Goku or others by practicing the ultimate in social distancing.

There's also the simple fact that Goku is a Saiyan and not a Human, like the rest of the Z-fighters. The particulars of his immune system may alter his susceptibility (that it could infect two different species, Saiyan and Human, is a bit surprising and may have taken time to mutate to transfer from one to the other). Vegeta is, again, spared by social distancing. And Goku's family is, presumably, spared by being human or half-human. Piccolo is presumably spared by being Namekian and having inherited Eternal Youth from his father, and just generally spending most of his time meditating on rocky spires in the middle of nowhere.

Finally, most of the Z-fighters don't actually spend that much time together. They usually train on their own or with a fixed partner, and come together only to deal with new threats or special occasions (such as celebrating victory over such a threat). Goku's only real training partners are Gohan, Piccolo, and Krillin, most of which is either done on Roshi's Island or in a wilderness devoid of other people; Goku and his family themselves live in the middle of nowhere. Tien and Chiaotzu train together but separately from the others and in general isolation; Yamcha is a lone wolf who started as a desert bandit afraid of nothing but talking to women; Yajirobi hides with Korin, etc. So most of them aren't even exposed all that often to each other, or even other humans. This is particularly true in the time-skip to the arrival of the androids, as everyone went off to train in their own ways (if at all).

So, again, social distancing seems likely to have protected everyone, with Goku being the one unfortunate soul for which it didn't work out. Probably by random bad luck, as it's not a 100% surefire protection, but also possibly because Chi-Chi actually makes him go out and do stuff in public like getting a job, thus elevating his exposure. Whereas Krillin doesn't yet have a family or known job at this point, and Vegeta mostly just trains and doesn't even spend much time with his own family yet.

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Well one theory I was told from a friend many years ago was that the virus was always in Goku it just took years to affect Goku.

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