The US is Facing New and Deadly Tick-Borne Virus

The US is Facing New and Deadly Tick-Borne Virus
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Ticks may indeed look harmless, but you know what they say that looks are deceiving. And that’s especially true when it comes to those tiny parasitic insects that could crawl upon you when you’re simply enjoying a day off at the park. Americans now need to be on the lookout to stay away from ticks as much as possible.

According to USNews.com, there’s a new and potentially deadly virus that can be carried by ticks and that’s currently spreading across the country. Heartland is that new tick-borne virus.

The lone star tick is spreading Heartland

There’s a specific type of tick that carries the Heartland virus: the lone star tick. It’s also known as Amblyomma americanum, the turkey tick, the northeastern water tick, or the Cricker Tick. This type of tick is indigenous to much of Mexico and the east of the USA.

Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec, the lead author of the new study, stated as USNews.com quotes:

There is no formal testing or treatment for the virus, and the level of transmission to humans is unknown,

Our findings contribute to the understanding of a pathogen that is poorly known and that could become a public health problem as people spend more time outdoors either recreationally or occupationally.

Dozens of cases of infection were reported in the US because of the virus, and most of them needed hospitalization. Some patients who were infected even died, although it needs to be mentioned that they were also suffering from other chronic diseases.

Luckily enough, there are a few simple steps that a person needs to take if he has been bitten by a tick. In the end, calling the doctor is mandatory, as you never know what diseases that tick can carry. There are plenty of diseases spread through ticks, except for the Heartland virus: Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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