Doctors Warn That Mysterious New ‘Heartland’ Tick Virus Is Spreading Across The South

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According to the CDC, the Heartland tick virus is a little-understood illness that typically strikes from late spring through early autumn, and bears a striking similarity to Lyme.

It causes fever and fatigue, and some patients also report nausea, headaches, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Most patients unfortunately had to be hospitalized for their illness and symptoms.

We all know that the bullseye rash is a common sign of Lyme infection.

But in fact, the bullseye rash is major tell-tale sign of any viral tick bite, so spotting one of these livid, ring-shaped bruises might also indicate you have been bitten by a tick with Heartland virus.

Although the CDC explains that there isn’t a lot of solid research about the Heartland virus, it is suspected that Lone Star ticks are mainly responsible for spread of the disease.

Lone Star ticks, also called turkey ticks, are a variety of small arachnids that live in the eastern US. In their larval form, they may be called seed ticks.

They can be identified by the white “lone star” on their backs.


Heartland virus was first detected in the Midwest in 2009, according to NPR. Researchers assumed that the affected region was fairly small and contained, but recent reports say otherwise.

The CDC has since found the virus in woodland animals in 13 states, ranging from Texas, to Florida, to Maine.

Although this chart shows the seasonal increase for Lyme disease, the same pattern has been seen in the Heartland virus.

All known cases have began from May – September, when ticks thrive the most and people are outside the most.

It’s important to be aware of the fact that a Lone Star tick might carry the virus before it is even fully grown.

Only adult, female ticks are marked with the “Lone Star” detail, but male ticks and younger ticks can still be infected.

When doing tick checks, keep your eyes out for males, nymphs and ticks in their larvae stage of life too.

Since so little is known about the condition, doctors recommend avoiding contact with ticks at all costs as the best form of prevention.

This means either covering up when going into wooded areas, doing regular tick checks and using a generous amount of repellent.

Please SHARE this warning with your friends and family!

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