The Mystery Of Bourbon Virus

A new tick-borne virus has been discovered in the U.S., called Bourbon virus. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bourbon virus may have killed a previously healthy man in Kansas last year. The virus is named after the county in eastern Kansas where a patient infected with the strain died in the late spring of 2014. The virus is the first known member of the thogotovirus family known to cause illness in the U.S. Thogotoviruses are known to be spread by ticks and mosquitoes in parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, although the Bourbon virus case is only the eighth demonstrated instance of human infection with such a virus. The patient, a man over the age of 50, suffered multiple tick bites prior to developing a fever, fatigue, aches, nausea, vomiting, and low white blood cell and platelet counts. The patient was given doxycycline, a common treatment for tick-borne illnesses, but he tested negative for previously known diseases carried by ticks and died of multi-organ failure 11 days after the onset of his symptoms.

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