A new virus transmitted by ticks has been confirmed by medical researchers after about four years of investigation following the infection of two men in Missouri.
The mysterious disease now called The Heartland Virus was announced July 22 in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Research suggests the virus can be transmitted to people by ticks.
In 2009, two Missouri men were treated at hospitals for a variety of problems including fatigue, high fever, diarrhea and a big decrease in their white blood cell count. They were treated with antibiotics because the symptoms didn’t appear to be more than a bad bacterial infection, but their conditions did not improve.
They recovered after almost two weeks of treatment. Researchers took a closer look and found that the virus had similarities to another virus identified in China. That led to further research and, ultimately, the realization this was a new tick-borne disease.
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