In 2014, a farmer from Bourbon County, Kansas went to the hospital with a high fever, nausea, and a rash. The doctors thought his symptoms were that of Lyme Disease. After checking his blood work, they were shocked to find a type of virus that had never been seen before.
Although his blood-work showed no trace of Lyme disease, he did have another virus, presumably transmitted by the ticks, which appeared to be causing his symptoms.
Upon further research, it was revealed that this was an entirely new kind of infection. An infection that was distinct from anything else humans have ever contracted. The doctors named it the “Bourbon virus” after the area he was from.
It was similar to the Bakten thogotovirus which is endemic to Asia. It was distinct in several important ways that meant doctors could not treat it. Unfortunately, the farmer passed away from its complications.
Doctors thought the Bourbon virus was a one-time fluke, but less than a year later, another person who had been bitten by a tick in nearby Stillwater, Oklahoma contracted it. Thankfully, this patient made a full recovery.
Doctors still do not fully understand the unique virus, and there is no specific vaccine to prevent it and there is no treatment to cure it. Researchers have said the best way to avoid this virus is to simply avoid tick bites.
It is very scary to see new types of diseases forming that we know nothing about.
If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”