Mysterious New ‘Heartland Virus’ Discovered in Missouri
Two Missouri farmers have been infected with a brand-new tick-borne virus that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling the Heartland virus.
The men recovered but suffered serious illness that required hospital care and weeks of convalescence. Symptoms included fever, severe fatigue, headache and nausea. Their platelet counts plummeted, but even though platelets are necessary for blood clotting, the men didn’t suffer abnormal bleeding.
A report on the new virus is in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
So far, the Missouri men are the only known cases of Heartland virus in the world. But experts are sure they’ll find more.
After all, the men lived 60 miles apart and got infected independently. That means there must be more of the mysterious new virus in the northwest Missouri environment.