These days it seems like viruses are all anyone can talk about. This, of course, is because the world was rattled with an epidemic called the Cov-19 virus. That particular virus is spread human to human. In this article we will be discussing the new “Heartland Virus”. It is a disease which gets into humans via tick bites.
The virus was first discovered in 2009 so it is not as new as some people think. However, it is spreading faster now and Doctors are reporting an increase in cases, mainly in the mid-west and southern United States.
There are 90 species of tick in the United States but one seems to be causing more havoc with humans than others in recent years. The Lone-Star Tick is a small tick which causes a painless bite. It needs your blood to live and reproduce.
The tick often causes a red rash after biting humans. The rash appears similar to the one caused by Lyme’s disease but it is not the case. The Lone Star tick does not transmits Lyme’s disease. It does cause other diseases such as Alpha-Gal Syndrome.
According to the CDC, symptoms of the Heartland virus disease include fatigue, decreased appetite, headache, and nausea. Some patients were hospitalized with high fevers, diarrhea, muscle pains, and low counts of white blood cells and platelets.
The disease is thought to have infected as many as 4% of people living in a part of Missouri where blood was tested for anti-bodies. Most people who get sick with the disease don’t end up seeing a doctor or getting blood tested.
It is a good idea to visit a Dr. if you are bitten by a tick and start to become ill. Treatment can help the illness from getting severe. It is also a good idea to check your body for ticks after you are in a wooded or grassy area. Tick prevention can be as simple as regularly looking over your body and knocking insects off of it.
image from wikipedia