There's a new virus in the Heartland

Students at A.T. Still University got to learn more about the new Heartland Virus.

Students at A.T. Still University Monday night had a chance to learn more about a new virus that has only been around the Midwest for a few years.

Scott Folk M.D. of Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Missouri gave a lecture on the new Heartland Virus.

Dr. Folk discovered the virus in June of 2009 when he was treating two patients who had similar symptoms after being bitten by the Lone Star Tick.

After three years of working with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Biology Department at Missouri Western University, an article on the virus was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in August 2012 about how the virus is tick-born, transmitted to a human from a bite, and the work that lies ahead.

"I hope they gained an understanding of the virus and how it can cause symptoms in patients and some of the challenges that we're facing with going forwards in terms of learning more about this virus," Dr. Folk said.

Dr. Folk said symptoms of the Heartland Virus includes fever, chills, headaches, fatigue and low white blood cell count.

The best way to protect yourself from getting the virus includes using a tick repellent and tucking in lose clothing when working outside.

For more information on the Heartland Virus click here.