A mysterious new virus believed to be carried by ticks is spreading across the United States and now has been confirmed in a neighboring state.

What's unsettling is how little is really known about this virus.

With warmer weather on the way and regular outdoor activities about to resume, it's worth being in the know.

What is the Heartland Virus?

The Heartland Virus is believed to be a tick-borne virus primarily carried by the lone star tick.

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The CDC reports that most people infected with the Heartland virus experience fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle or joint pain.

It can take up to two weeks for symptoms to appear after an infected tick bite.

Many are hospitalized because of their symptoms. This virus is potentially fatal.

Heartland is an emerging infectious disease that is not well understood.

That from Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec, PhD, associate professor in Emory’s Department of Environmental Sciences.

In a press release, the Doctor went on to say:

We’re trying to get ahead of this virus by learning everything that we can about it before it potentially becomes a bigger problem.

According to the CDC, the Heartland Virus was first found in a human living in Missouri in 2009.

Between 2009 and January 2021, there have been over 50 recorded in Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Fast forward to 2022, the virus has now been detected in lone star ticks in Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Georgia, and New York.

New York is a little too close to home, but experts are saying not to panic.

Dr. John Reaves with Ascension St. Vincent's Primary Care Hoover said there’s no cause for widespread concern.

He went as far to say to "not excessively worry about it."

Use common sense to protect yourself against ticks when outdoors.

More importantly, protect your pets. Many ticks found on humans come from pets in the home.

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