Doctors found signs of Heartland Virus in nearly every tissue in a 68 year old Tennessean who died in 2015, according to a new report that has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The infected man who was a landscaper first came to the hospital due to pain and a rash on his leg where he suspected a tick bite. He was initially treated with doxycycline, a first line drug for tick borne infections; however, he got worse and testing couldn’t reveal what he was infected with. The patient went into shock, was placed on a ventilator, given blood pressure meds and was put on dialysis for kidney failure. Despite aggressive therapy the patient died.
It wasn’t until the patient died that doctors determined he had Heartland Virus.
Previously scientist have found the virus in bone marrow, blood, lymph nodes and spleen, but in this case it was found in the liver, pancreas, heart, lungs, bowels, kidneys, testes, skin, muscles, and brain. The examined tissues revealed damage but researchers are not sure if this is due to the virus or from an autoimmune response.
The man also suffered from confusion and an altered mental state, making researchers theorize that his symptoms could have been caused by the virus itself.
Dr. Mary-Margaret Fill, an epidemic intelligence officer at the Tennessee Department of Health and lead author of the study states that the virus “can cause much more widespread infection than we knew.” Fill also notes that for the vast majority of cases people will have mild to no symptoms at all but that for some it can spread quickly and be fatal.
There are no current treatments for viruses and the only testing is available through the CDC.
There are things you can do to fight viruses, however:
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/03/28/combating-viruses/. Wisconsin is a hot-bed for Powassan – another virus that can be transmitted through tick bite: