Scientists think the lone star tick (center) likely transmits Heartland disease to people. And the virus probably also circulates in deer and coyotes. iStockphoto; CDC; iStockphoto hide caption toggle caption iStockphoto; CDC; iStockphoto Shots - Health News Deadly Heartland Virus Is Much More Common Than Scientists Thought September 16, 2015 The Heartland virus was considered rare. Scientists now say they've found signs of it circulating in animals across the Midwest, New England and the South. They think human cases have been missed.