In a summer that has brought us a record number of West Nile and Lyme disease cases, researchers have discovered a new tick-borne disease in Missouri, the Heartland virus.
Two farmers, whose properties are sixty miles apart in Missouri, independently sought treatment after experiencing fever, fatigue, headache and nausea. Blood tests showed very low platelet counts in both cases.
According to WebMD Health News “The first patient spent 10 days in the hospital. Two years later, he’s still feeling tired and often has headaches. At first he had memory problems and loss of appetite, both of which slowly got better.
‘The second patient was in the hospital for 12 days. Over the next four to six weeks he had memory problems, fatigue, and loss of appetite. All of these symptoms went away and did not come back over the next two years.”
Both men told doctors that they had been bitten by ticks prior to the symptoms starting. Dr. Scott Folk of Heartland (hence the name) Regional Medical Center sent samples from both patients, along with others, to the Centers for Disease Control for testing in 2009. “’Whenever he sends us a sample, we pay attention because we are likely to find something.’ Nicholson says.” Source.
And find something they did. Microscope analysis revealed the new Heartland virus. “We’re pretty excited about it,” says Nicholson. “It’s not every day you find something new.”
The new tick-borne disease is believed to be transmitted by the Lone Star tick as it’s the most common tick in the state of Missouri. No ticks carrying the virus have been found in tests yet more cases are expected.
At Mosquito Squad, we know that the best way to protect yourself against vector-borne diseases is to minimize the chances for those buggers to bite you. Our effective mosquito and tick control helps our clients do that without being forced indoors. If you have questions on how to get rid of mosquitoes and ticks on your property, please call your nearest Mosquito Squad office.