This week the New England Journal of Medicine published an article about a potentially new tick-borne agent in two Missouri farmers who had been bitten by ticks, that originally was suspected as ehrlichiosis, another tick-borne disease spread by the Lone Star tick.

What’s interesting to note is that a microbiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was not a case of ehrlichiosis, and that it is a virus that has not been seen before. See an article from NBC news about it here.

Once it was found out not to be ehrlichiosis, it was dubbed the “Heartland Virus.”

This new agent, a member of the Bunyaviridae family and classified as a phlebovirus genus, has been postulated as the cause of illness.

Last year Bovine Veterinarian published an online article for veterinarians and cattle producers who may come in contact with ticks, about tick-borne diseases including ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease and others, and preventing them. Read it here.

Veterinarians and their producers are at risk from tick-borne disease due to the amount of time spent outdoors and in pastures. Keep in mind standard procedures to repel and kill ticks such as choice of clothing and use of insecticides. Report unusual high fevers and illness, especially following tick bites, to a health professional.