February 8, 2016
Heartland virus (HRTV) is one of an increasing list of new tick-borne viruses. HRTV is of the genus Phlebovirus, and was discovered in northwestern Missouri in 2009. Mosquitoes and sand flies can also transmit Phleboviruses, but, at this time, HRTV appears to be specific to the Lone Star Tick.
Symptoms of HRTV include weakness, fever, muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and laboratory abnormalities. Unlike many tick-borne infections, this is a virus and therefore does not respond to antibiotics. As of now, treatment includes supporting the patient and relieving symptoms.