Lone Star ticks in Illinois can carry, transmit Heartland virus

Dr. Holly Tuten, who is a vector ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, says she specializes in the study of spineless blood suckers such as ticks and tick-borne disease agents. Her current work with Erica Hernandez, right, looks at the Heartland Virus, a serious tick-borne virus that is now spreading into Illinois.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers have confirmed that Heartland virus, an emerging pathogen with potentially dire consequences for those infected, is present in Lone Star ticks in two Illinois counties hundreds of miles apart. Lone Star ticks were first detected in Illinois in 1999 but had not been found to be infected with Heartland virus in the state.

The findings are reported in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Read the complete story here: https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/1327389501