Scientists confirm new tick-related virus discovered in Missouri

Federal health investigators confirm that ticks carry a new virus that sickened two northwest Missouri men four years ago.

Scientists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspect that ticks are most likely the source of the so-called Heartland Virus, named after the St. Joseph hospital where the two men were treated back in 2009.

Local experts told KTVO there is nothing to treat the virus, only supportive medications.

They do say there are some things you can do to be less prone to catching the virus.

â??To protect yourself from ticks and mosquitoes, you want to make sure you wear long pants, socks, shoes, close-toed shows,

light-colored clothing so you can detect them easier, and long sleeves,â?? said Cindy Malloy, R.N., from the Macon County Health Department.

Malloy said ticks and mosquitoes take any food they can get.

She said bacteria related to ticks can be treated, but viruses like the Heartland Virus can't be treated; however if it is caught early on, treatments may help.

Both patients who had the Heartland Virus back in 2009 recovered after nearly two weeks in the hospital.