A new tick-borne disease has made its way to a new Southern state. Health officials in Arkansas have just confirmed a case of the Heartland virus for the first time.
Although the Heartland virus has been in the United States for about eight years, this new case has Southern outdoor lovers on high alert. 5 News reports that the first person diagnosed with the illness in Arkansas has already made a full recovery. However, other cases of the Heartland virus have been reported in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
The Lone Star tick, which has a bite that can permanently affect your immune system, carries and spreads the virus.
According to KUAR, there is currently preventative vaccine or treatments available for those affected by the virus. Luckily, the illness isn't usually life-threatening. Symptoms are flu-like and can include fever, headache and tiredness.
Outdoor lovers are at the most risk. Wear long-sleeved tops and pants if you'll be in a potential tick-infested area. Wear bug repellent and do a tick check as soon as you are done outdoors.