Scientists have confirmed a long-time suspicion: The Heartland virus—first noticed in 2009 when it affected two Missouri farmers—is indeed a tick-borne illness. The findings were published July 22 in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
I take this as just one more reason that all upland bird hunters, regardless of geographical region, should take precautions against ticks. Tuck your pants into your boots; wear tick repellent; do a tick check when you get home; and always apply a monthly tick preventative to your dog.
The threat of previously known tick-borne illnesses is also on the rise. According to a study by Dr. Susan Little of Oklahoma State University, a huge tick expansion is continually spreading these diseases into new areas. Little found cases of such serious ailments as Lyme, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis nearly nationwide.