The virus, a Phlebovirus, was discovered in humans in 2009 in the state of Missouri and has been found to date in Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Indianan, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.
It is transmitted by Amblyomma americanum, lone star tick.
Symptoms: fever, leucopenia (decrease in the number of total white blood cells count), thrombocytopenia (low platelet), tiredness, headaches, muscle aches, diarrhea, loss of appetite.
Testing: No routine testing available but protocols are in place to allow people to be tested for evidence of Heartland virus RNA and IgM and IgG antibodies. Doctors should contact your state health department if you have a patient with an acute illness that may be compatible with Heartland virus disease.
Treatment: None but palliative care. 40 cases as of 9/18, at least 2 deaths.