Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment


The time from infected tick bite to feeling sick (incubation period) ranges from a few days to two weeks. Signs and symptoms of Heartland virus disease (Heartland) are often similar to those of other tickborne illnesses, such as ehrlichiosis or anaplasmosis.

  • Most people infected with Heartland virus experience fever, fatigue (feeling tired), decreased appetite, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle or joint pain.
  • Some people also have lower than normal counts of white blood cells (cells that help fight infections) and lower than normal counts of platelets (which help prevent bleeding).
  • Tests to check how well the liver is working (liver function tests) can show increased levels of liver enzymes.


If you think you or a family member might have Heartland virus disease, talk with your health care provider.

  • Healthcare providers diagnose Heartland virus infection based on:
    • Signs and symptoms
    • History of living in or traveling to an area where Heartland virus is known to circulate
    • History of possible exposure to the ticks that can carry Heartland virus
    • Blood tests
  • Your healthcare provider can order tests to look for Heartland virus infection and other infections that cause similar symptoms.

To learn more about testing, visit our Healthcare Providers page.


  • There are no medications to prevent or treat infection with Heartland virus. Antibiotics do not treat viruses.
  • Rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medications may relieve some symptoms.
  • Some patients may need to be hospitalized for intravenous fluids and supportive care for pain, fever, or other related problems.

To learn more about treatment, visit our Healthcare Providers page.