Today, the empire spans many cities, and enjoys a period of peace. However, while citizens worry less about the horrors of war, other fears prey on their minds. The citizens are afraid, the city squares rife with hearsay. Rumors across the land speak of a terrible malady laying entire communities to waste, the sufferers bloodied and bedridden. What will you do?
The movement of people whether for trade or elsewise needs to be restricted.
The people exaggerate the horror. Any imposed "cure" might be worse than the disease.
With funds, our alchemists and philosophers in their workshops can learn much of this pox.