Deadly tick-borne ‘Bourbon Virus’ identified

Deadly tick-borne ‘Bourbon Virus’ identified

Researchers have identified the cause of a Kansas farmer’s mysterious death over the summer. It is called the Bourbon virus.

The illness is believed to be tick-borne. The virus “was fast-moving and severe, causing lung and kidney failure, and shock,” The New York Times reported. The virus killed the man after only 10 days. He was previously healthy, having no preexisting conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and University of Kansas Hospital researchers worked together to identify the Bourbon virus. It was found to be an orthomyxovirus, according to a video announcement from Dana Hawkinson, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at The University of Kansas Hospital.

The Bourbon virus is named after Bourbon County, Kansas, where the only known U.S. patient lived. Hawkinson notes that the Bourbon virus is similar to viruses seen in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia, but this is the first of its kind to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere.

Hawkinson described this first Bourbon virus case as frustrating to himself and the medical personnel caring for the patient, because many questions were left answered. “We don’t know the full spectrum of disease because it’s the first case,” he said. The researchers don’t know if all cases end with the same outcome, or if there are milder versions from which patients can recover.

Symptoms of the Bourbon virus include fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches, and a general feeling of discomfort or uneasiness.

While most tick-borne illnesses are treating with antibiotics, this disease is caused by a virus, and there is no known treatment.

Hawkinson recommends wearing long clothes and insect repellent if you are traveling to an area where you could be exposed to ticks. He also adds to check your body for ticks after returning home.

Please watch the video statement about the ‘Bourbon virus’ from the University of Kansas Hospital:

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Mysterious Virus That Killed a Farmer in Kansas Is Identified.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Dec. 2014. Web. 29 Dec. 2014.
2. “New “Bourbon Virus” Linked to Death.” Medical News Network. University of Kansas Hospital, n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2014.
3. “Bourbon Virus.” YouTube. KUHospital, 22 Dec. 2014. Web. 29 Dec. 2014.
4. “New Tick-Borne ‘Bourbon Virus’ Is Deadly And Unlike Anything Previously Seen In U.S.The Huffington Post., 24 Dec. 2014. Web. 29 Dec. 2014.

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