Symptoms and Treatment

Symptoms

  • Most patients have fever, fatigue (feeling tired), decreased appetite, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle or joint pain.
  • Patients often have lower than normal counts of white blood cells (cells that help fight infections) and lower than normal counts of platelets (which help clot blood). Sometimes tests to check how well the liver is working (liver function tests) can show increased levels of liver enzymes.
  • Symptoms and signs of Heartland virus disease (Heartland) are often similar to those of other tickborne illnesses, such as ehrlichiosis or anaplasmosis.
  • The incubation period (time from tick bite to feeling sick) is not known, but most patients reported a tick bite in the 2 weeks before they felt sick.
  • Almost all patients with Heartland have been hospitalized. Although most patients fully recovered, a few patients died.

Treatment

  • There are no vaccines or medications to prevent or treat infection with Heartland virus. Antibiotics do not treat viruses.
  • Healthcare providers might be able to provide medications and other care to help treat symptoms. Some patients may need to be hospitalized for intravenous fluids and treatment for pain, fever, or other related problems.
  • If you think you or a family member might have Heartland, see your healthcare provider.