Sickness is an in-game element introduced in Doubutsu no Mori e+ that can afflict villagers. Villagers can become sick, which causes them to shiver (and sometimes show the 'sadness' emotion) and stay in their houses. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the affected villager will be sweating instead of showing the sadness emotion. When a villager is sick, they will not have normal conversations with the player, and they will only talk about being sick. They will often act delusional when sick, talking about fictional things as if they are real.
Prior to Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Villagers can gradually be recovered from being sick if they are given medicine by the player. The medicine can be purchased from Tom Nook's shop or the Nookling Stores once a day. Sickness usually lasts for three days if medicine is given every day, but this can vary slightly.
While villagers are sick, they will not react positively and will ask for medicine. Selecting the medicine will give a negative response if the player has no medicine in their pockets, but will open the pockets if the player does. After receiving medicine, the villager will usually remark on how bad it tasted, or will say that they are starting to feel better, and will thank the player.
Once the sickness has passed, the villager will give the player an item the following day in person (or in a letter) if the player took care of the villager while they were sick.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons
In New Horizons, a villager will tell the player that they haven't seen someone for the entire day, signalling that that someone is sick. The sick villager will perk up immediately once given medicine, and will give the player a gift right away. They will be able to ask the player for favors, though they will remain inside their house for the entire day.
Glitches associated with Sickness
- In Animal Crossing: Wild World, a sick villager is instantly healed when the player opens the town gate.
- In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, a sick villager can move out without telling the player, as they are unable to 'ping' the player while sick.
- In Animal Crossing: City Folk and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the villager will lock their house when the town gate is open, leaving a sign saying that they are feeling ill.
- In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, villagers may inform the player that another villager is sick.
- In Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, sick villagers will appear in the hospital after the player designs the facility.
- In Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Welcome amiibo, villagers cannot become sick. The feature was phased out due to the glitch stated above.