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Dying Light Wiki
The Harran Virus

The Harran Virus is a variation of rabies, and the infectious virus featured in Dying Light. It has several different mutations and spread to epidemic proportions in the city of Harran. A vaccine for the virus was eventually developed, but a new strain escaped from a lab shortly after, which is featured in the events of Dying Light 2 Stay Human


The Harran Virus is a variation of rabies[1], but one major difference is the infected are very intolerant of UV light, a feature which is very notable in relation to Volatiles and Night Hunters.

Transmission and Pathology[]

The virus is typically transmitted via a bite through the exchange of saliva[2] or blood through scratches, and spreads rapidly, causing its victims to become mindless husks of the people they used to be.[3] The exact speed at which the virus fully takes over its host is unknown. The presumed patient zero was feeling unwell and resting before he turned in 30 minutes time, but it is unknown how long he carried the virus beforehand.[4] Rahim Aldemir turned into a viral relatively quickly after being bitten,[5] while an eleven year-old child turned in roughly five days.[6]

GameSpot Expert Reviews



A GRE poster featuring symptoms of the infection.

Those who have been infected may not notice much at first, outside of feeling unwell.[4] An increased level of adrenaline is also present in the blood of infected individuals who have not yet fully turned.[6] If bitten, an infected individual will eventually suffer from a seizure, causing a blurry vision and exhaustion, acting as an indicator the individual is infected, and needs medicine. The symptoms of the infection can be suppresed by using Antizin.[7] If left untreated for too long, the infected individual will start hallucinating and losing their train of thought, sometimes even believing that other people are infected instead.[8][6] After turning, the infected get a strong hunger for humans at night.[6]

A notable symptom of those already deeper into the infected stages are an increased number of blisters, blood clots, red eyes and, on occassion, large tumor-like growths on the body. Most infected will also lose their hair.[9] Those in the late stages of infection, while still human, can also become malnourished, extremely pale and have purplish blotches, while also displaying signs of pure rage.[6]


The exact origins of the virus are unknown. A scientist of the GRE believed, based on the earliest recorded incidents, that the virus might have come from the food sources.[4] The Mother, a leading figure in the Countryside, believed that the Harran virus was an experiment by the military.[10] Others believed that the GRE itself was responsible for the virus,[11] while yet again some others believed that the virus came on Earth via a meteorite orchastrated by an alien lifeform known as the Gadoids.[12]

While this last theory may sound ridiculous at first glance, it should be noted that Kyle Crane is able to be, temporarily, abducted by aliens in a UFO in the countryside of Harran, and a crashed UFO can also be found in the countryside.


Outbreak in Harran[]

The presumed patient zero of the Harran Virus was a certain Mr. Baris Buruk, a worker in the Old Town district of Harran, who had a sudden uncontrollable outburst of rage, attacking eight people of which he killed two. Since Mr. Buruk failed to infect any people, a GRE scientist concluded that the pathogen could not have come through the air or water since more people would have been infected in that case. The scientist believed that the food source may have been what carried the virus into Harran.[4] Originally the people were unaware that there was a virus causing an increase in violence, so violent attacks were reported by the police as just being unusual attacks.[13]

GRE flu poster

A GRE-made poster from before the virus was identified.

When it became apparent that a virus was involved, the government of Harran dismissed it as a severe flu. While advocating for caution, the government was unable to detect the threat that the virus truly posed. Already getting support from the GRE, posters were created in an attempt to minimize infections.[14] Despite these efforts, infection rates continued to increase as the cures available proved ineffective. The Health Department of Harran dedicated their full resources to study the new virus,[15] shortly hereafter the epidemic was officially announced.[16]

As the infection rates kept increasing, government-protected survivor groups became subject to relocations and increasing screenings as a result of paranoia.[17] Two days before the city was sealed, Hazmat units were sent out to rescue the healthy people from the city, but their suits were insufficient for the job. As a result, many of the Hazmat units became infected themselves.[18] The first area of the city which was to be walled off was the Old Town district, which was turned into a quarantine as a whole.[19] Both the Old Town and Slums districts of Harran eventually became overrun by large numbers of the infected, with only small pockets of survivors managing to stay safe.[9]


An unspecified time after the Harran outbreak in 2014, when the city was destroyed, the world's greatest minds came together and started to perform research on the Harran Virus, eventually managing to create a vaccine against it, keeping the world safe for a little bit.[20]

Emergence of THV[]

After a vaccine for the original Harran Virus was created, the GRE had promised to shutter its labs. But the GRE continued its research in secret for military purposes, shortly after which a variant of the virus, known as THV(or Tachytransmissive Harran Virus), escaped into the world, which lead to an event known as The Fall.[20]

Antizin Development[]

The Department of Health had been looking for the origins and a cure for the virus when original flu medicine proved ineffective,[15] and shortly after announcing an epidemic, a congress of doctors in Harran was going to take place. Their primary concern was identifying the origin of the virus and contain the epidemic. The Global Relief Effort was among the international specialists invited to the congress.[21]

During the epidemic, a field hospital was established at the Harran Stadium, where the GRE treated the incoming infected individuals with their experimental medication.[22] Shortly thereafter, the field hospital was placed under a quarantine, much like Old Town was. The GRE decided to set up a laboratory in Old Town, where final tests on their medication would be carried out.[19] After passing initial laboratory tests, the GRE and Ministry of Defense urged people to volunteer in clinical trials, enticing people with financial rewards.[23]

When Antizin proved to be an effective inhibitor of the Harran Virus, the Global Relief Effort started sending out airdrops into Harran, containing the Antizin and detailed instructions for dosage and use. With the airdrops being planned in Harran, the previous advice to amputate infected limbs was no longer recommended.[24] Whether out of greed or desperation, a small black market for homemade Antizin arose in the slums district of Harran. The private-made Antizin used recycled vials, but the product iself instead proved near-lethal. Developed by a man named Bento, the operation was eventually shut down by Kyle Crane.[25]

Not long after the arrival of Crane into Harran, the GRE airdrops containing Antizin were discontinued,[26][27] resulting in the survivors in Old Town becoming increasingly hostile to obtain the remaining Antizin by any means necessary.[28]

Infection States[]


Biters are the most common variant of the infected. They are slow and not particularly dangerous on their own, but are often found in large groups. They are easily distracted by sounds and are weak on their feet. Some variants of the biter are stronger than others, with the strongest typically having done some form of physical work while alive. Some biters appear to have suffered a secondary infection, turning their skin into either an oily yellow or a shiny black. When near sources of heat these biters may vomit, which will clear their skin and turn them into regular biters again.

At night, some biters may also turn into Night Walkers. The exact cause of this development is unknown, but the infected will fall to the ground and then rise up again after which it becomes highly aggressive. This type of transformation occurs when the player is running past groups with a high chase level. In contrast to regular biters, night walkers are capable of running and jumping more like Virals. In The Countryside of Harran, Night Walkers were also able to appear during the day, though how exactly is unknown.

Do not let them surround you.


Virals are the most recently infected individuals. In their passive state they can be found leaning against a wall or sitting on the floor. They are highly sensitive to loud noises, in particular to explosions. Virals located inside buildings will sometimes burst out of doors or windows if they hear an explosion. In contrast to biters, virals do not bite, only striking their opponents with their fists. They also run, jump, and are able to climb buildings to chase their target and in combat will also duck and try to dodge attacks. If they are struck, what remains of their humanity can sometimes be seen, as they may fall to the ground and plead for mercy with their hands raised before continuing to attack.


The Harran Virus mutated differently in toads than in the other infected, causing them to be able to spit toxic venom at their targets.[29] What exactly caused their mutation is unknown, but their venom can hit their target from far away. Their large presence in the Chemical Storage Quarantine Zone implies that a possible cause for their mutation was exposure to toxic chemicals.


Bombers used to be regular infected, but the degradation of their tissue caused them to bloat with gas.[29] They will run towards their perceived target and will then explode, damaging any survivors, or infected, in the blast radius. The explosion may also attract virals due to the loud noise.


Goons are large infected who were typically involved in some kind of heavy labor similar to demolishers, only without the need to be agile or flexible. They carry large rebars with which they attempt to strike their target. The best way to kill them is to use an upgraded crossbow, and shoot it in the head, that way they'll die instantly, much like if you shoot Biters, Virals, and Hostile Survivors in the head with the same weapon.


Demolishers are the largest variant of the regular infected, being characterized by their strength and speed. Most demolishers were once members of the military or police, whose agility, strength and flexibility caused the virus to develop differently.[30] Demolishers will typically charge at their target or strike them with their arms when close. When their target is out of reach, they will lift up large chunks of rock and throw them at their target to get them down or kill them. A good place to strike them is in the back, as the front won't do very much damage. If you want to try to kill them from the front, make sure you have a powerful Double-Barrel Shotgun, but be careful as this can attract the attention of Virals, due to the fact they hate loud noises.


Screamers are what remains of children which have been infected with the Harran virus. In contrast to most other infected, screamers do not fight on their own. Instead, when they spot a healthy individual they will let out a deafening scream, alerting nearby infected. In their passive state they can often be heard crying. They can be killed in one of four ways: One, use a melee weapon, and strike before it has the chance to scream. Two, use a Molotov Cocktail to take care of them. Make sure you step back from the fire though. Three, use a firearm, like a pistol, or a rifle. Four, the most efficient way, is to sneak up on them, and silently suffocate them to death. While it sounds slightly brutal, it's the best way to take them out, because you save all the resources mentioned beforehand.


Bolters are a largely passive form of the infected who, as their name suggests, run away upon seeing a threat, rather than fight the threat. They largely come out at night to feed on the remains of those who were already killed by other infected. Bolters are covered in large green blisters, are easy to frighten, and difficult to catch as they are capable of reaching high speeds in a short amount of time.

The blood of bolters was noted as being photosensitive, which would have been quite deadly if used in a weapon.[31]


One of the strongest and most dangerous variants of the infected are the Volatiles. They hunt during the night and are taller and more muscular than regular infected, and also feature a lower jaw which is cut in half. They are very fast and are capable of parkour, with their only true weakness being UV light. As such, they are only seen in dark areas or at night.

The exact nature of the volatile is a mystery, though they appear capable of reproduction using human vessels in some way, the origin of the first volatile is unknown. When turning a human into a volatile, the process appears to be extremely painful, as cries of pain can be heard coming from those developing into a volatile.[32] They also appear to have some form of hierarchy, as a group of volatiles are seen standing in front of one large volatile in a car tunnel leading out of Harran to a large antenna.[33]

The Mother is a rare and unique Sentient volatile, who developed the way she did through consuming a blue vial developed by the military. This made her in control of her powers during the day while also giving her the power to communicate over great distances with just the power of her mind. However, during the night, control is lost over the body, turning the host into a regular volatile until the day returns.[34]

The other known types of Volatiles are Alpha Volatiles (though they're sometimes called Blue Volatiles). They are noticeably stronger than their previous counterpart, capable of taking out the player in just a few hits, but they only appear if The Following DLC has been purchased. They also have increased health, making them more difficult to kill. Including the types of Volatiles as separate enemies, they, along with the normal variants, are the strongest infected type in the game. However, they share the same UV light weakness, and run the same speed as the regular variants.

Freaks of Nature[]

Freaks of nature are several special infected located in the Countryside of Harran. They were considerably larger and stronger than their regular infected counterparts, though the exact nature of their specific mutation is unknown.[35] They also deal twice to five times the amount of damage a normal infected could deal.

Night Hunter[]

The Night Hunter is a rare infected type which, as the name suggests, is mostly active at night. The Night Hunter is a fast and extremely agile variant of the infected and is the only variant capable of swimming. Similar to the volatiles, the Night Hunter is very sensitive to UV light.[36] It is also the only infected that is playable, being available in the Be the Zombie mode.