Two Hoosiers test positive for rare Heartland virus transmitted by tick bite

Amos Gonzales
July 14, 2017

Only a small number of cases have been detected nationally, according to an Indiana State Department of Health news release. The symptoms of Heartland include: fever, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. The person who contacted the virus later died.

Both individuals survived the infection of the Heartland virus, which first sickened two people in Missouri in 2009.

Only a few cases of the Heartland virus have been detected across the nation, but most have required hospitalization.

Heartland is a tick-borne virus that is brought on by a bite from a Lone Star tick, according to the CDC.

Times Union Staff photograph by Philip Kamrass - Richard F. Daines, M.D., NYS Health Commissioner, models a male deer tick that he caught using a tick drag in a field in Ghent, NY Monday May 14, 2007, during a photo opportunity to kick off Lyme Disease Prevention Month.

POWV is transmitted by Ixodes tick species found in North America, according to a recent article published in the journal, Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.

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Ticks are found throughout IN in grassy and wooded areas.

Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Powassan virus disease, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tickborne infections.

Officials say the best plan is to try and avoid ticks altogether, by using insect repellant and/or wearing sleeves and long trousers.

Wear light-colored clothing that will make it easier to spot and remove ticks.

Perform a full-body check multiple times during the day to ensure that no ticks are attached.

Attached ticks can be safely removed by using tweezers to grasp the tick close to the skin and pulling outward with steady and even pressure. After the tick is removed, the area should be washed thoroughly. The tick should be discarded by submerging it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or container, wrapping it tightly in tape or flushing it down the toilet. Ticks should never be crushed with the fingernails.

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