Heartland Virus Spread By TicksJanay Rickwalder
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
A new disease is confirmed to be transmitted to humans by ticks.
Healthday News article reported yesterday on an illness known
as Heartland virus, which has now been identified in a species of
tick called the ‘Lone
This virus is extremely rare in humans – in fact, only two cases
have been reported thus far, according to the article. The two men
were hospitalized in 2009 with this new disease that would later be
named after the hospital in which they were treated. Researchers
were not positive
how the men contracted the virus until recently. Now, the virus
has been found in Midwest tick populations at a frequency of about
one in every 500 ticks. However, detecting the virus in tick
populations is not too helpful because there is no test available
yet to detect the virus in humans.
Prevention of Heartland virus is no different than preventing
other tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain
Spotted fever. Experts recommend wearing insect repellant
containing 20 percent DEET when spending time outdoors, staying
away from overgrown grassy areas and thoroughly inspecting yourself
after spending time outdoors where ticks could be found.