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“Myth circulates online that ‘new’ hantavirus disease has emerged in China

A claim has circulated in multiple Facebook, Twitter and YouTube posts that a “new Hantavirus” has emerged in China in March 2020. The posts were viewed hundreds of thousands of times as the world battled the spread of the novel covid-19, which causes the disease Coronavirus.

The claim is false; scientists say Hantavirus is not a new Hantavirus and was first detected during the Korean War in the 1950s. The US-based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the virus has almost exclusively been found to pass from rodents to humans, rather than from person to person.

The misleading claim was shared in this Facebook post on March 24.

The post’s caption states: “Just when China and whole world is trying to get cured from covid-19, Hantavirus.

“This is a new virus in China named Hantavirus which is caused due to rats

“One died and few tested positive!

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