If you eradicate a disease in Pandemic without finding a cure first (ie remove all of one colour from the board) does it remain eradicated or can it still come back unless it has also been cured?

The rules are a bit unclear on this point ... Or I missed the rule that explicitly states this.


2 Answers 2


From the rules, page 4, when describing the Discover a Cure action:

At any research station, discard 5 City cards of the same color from your hand to cure the disease of that color. Move the disease’s cure marker to its Cure Indicator.

If no cubes of this color are on the board, this disease is now eradicated. Flip its cure marker from its “vial” side to its “blocked” side.

And, in the sidebar on that same page:

Removing the last cube of a disease that is not cured has no effect.

Eradication is described as part of discovering a cure, so a cure is necessary for the disease to be eradicated. If you remove all of the cubes of the color, but don't have a cure, it is not eradicated and you place new disease cubes normally.

See also this thread on BGG, where Matt Leacock (one of the game's designers) weighed in:

Eradicating a Disease

If a cure for a given disease has been discovered and there are no disease cubes of that color on the board, immediately flip the Cure marker for the disease to the “Sunset” side. From now on, cards of this color have no effect when drawn on the Infector’s turn.

Take all of the cubes of the eradicated color and place them back in the box—they will not be used again for the rest of the game.

  • Thank you for this - it is what I suspected from the order of paragraphs but I did not find it explicitly stated Feb 9, 2018 at 20:53
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    May 4, 2018 at 12:22

The disease can still come back.

Eradication is only something that can happen after the cure is discovered. Before that, it isn't eradication, it is just not having any cubes of that color at this time.

From page 4 of the rules:

If the last cube of a cured disease is removed from the board, this disease is eradicated. Flip its cure marker from its “vial” side to its “0” side.

Emphasis mine.

It's not hard for a given color to not get chosen at all during setup; obviously in this case that disease is not eradicated.

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