A farmer from Bourbon County, Kansas sought treatment for a virus after being bitten by a tick and displaying flu like symptoms. The doctor though he had Lyme disease and when they did a blood test, it came back negative. However, it did catch another unknown virus. Doctors named it the Bourbon virus after the home of the patient. The doctors treated the virus as best they could but the patient died. A second man contracted the virus in Oklahoma, but he survived. Doctors don’t even know how the virus is caught but they suspect that it comes from ticks also.
The CDC places the Bourbon virus in a group of viruses called thogotoviruses. These viruses are found all over the world, and some can cause people to get sick.
Medical professionals don’t yet fully understand how the Bourbon virus infects its hosts, but it likely spreads through tick or other insect bites.
Only one reported case of the Bourbon virus is cited by the CDC, although Boredom Therapy reports that a second person was infected in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and made a full recovery.
According to the CDC, symptoms of the Bourbon virus include fever, tiredness, rash, headaches, body aches, nausea and vomiting. Blood tests found that the farmer from Bourbon County had low blood counts for infection-fighting cells.
There is no vaccine or drug that prevents or treats the Bourbon virus. To avoid contracting the Bourbon virus, people should take precautions against tick and other insect bites when they spend time outside. Measures include using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding overgrown and wooded areas, and performing tick checks.