Avoiding the Heartland Virus spread by ticks

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — If you plan on camping out or just simply spending time outdoors in the woods, there’s a tick-borne disease you should know about. The Heartland virus has killed two people and a very common tick carries it.

Dr. Mike Merchant of Texas AgriLife Research says, “You’re going to encounter these ticks when you’re outside, not just in a backyard, but more in a natural environment, a place where you have shrubs and wildlife.”

The symptoms of the Heartland virus include: fatigue, fever, and joint pain. To avoid tick bites, Dr. Merchant suggests using bug repellant and wearing protective clothing like long sleeve shirts and pants.

Bug experts also say you should tuck your pants into your socks so that ticks can’t crawl up your legs. And make sure to check yourself for ticks or bites after being outside.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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