Two men from northwestern Missouri fell ill with a tick-borne disease that scientists had never seen before, according to a report in today’s New England Journal of Medicine.
The new ailment was dubbed the Heartland virus after the Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, where the men were treated.
The men both had fever, diarrhea and fatigue when they came to the hospital. Both reported being bitten by a tick within the past week.
Doctors suspected ehrlichiosis, another tick-borne disease, but when specimens were examined under a microscope they appeared unique.
Samples sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were confirmed to be a novel virus of the phlebovirus family.
From the St. Louis Post Dispatch