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Heartland Virus Is Carried by Ticks

Public Health

The virus, which was first identified last year in two Missouri farmers, is indeed transmitted to people by ticks, new research suggests.

| July 23, 2013

According to Yahoo News, the Heartland virus, a mysterious virus first identified last year in two Missouri farmers, is indeed transmitted to people by ticks, new research suggests.

The findings, published July 22 in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, confirm what scientists had suspected.

The virus was first noticed in 2009, when two men in Missouri were admitted to hospitals with high fevers, diarrhea, fatigue and a severe drop in the number of their white blood cells, immune cells that fight infection. Because the disease's symptoms looked similar to bacterial infection, doctors gave the men antibiotics, but they didn't improve.

Last year, researchers sequenced the virus found in the men, and found it had not previously been identified. They named it the Heartland virus, and said that it resembled another tick-borne pathogen called SFTS virus, which had been identified in China and was fatal in 12 percent of cases.

The Missouri men infected with the Heartland virus recovered after 10 to 12 days in the hospital.

Click here to read the entire story.

Source: Yahoo News

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