This past summer a Kansas man was infected with a fast-moving illness that took his life after 10 days in the hospital. Otherwise a healthy man, doctors tried treating him with a series of antibiotics that unfortunately didn’t work. After much research, a new microbe has been found and named the Bourbon virus.
No, this virus has nothing to do with the Bourbon drink, but instead is named after the county in which the only known victim lived. The virus was discovered by researchers with the Centers for Disease Control. It’s believed that the male farmer was infected through the bite of an infected tick while spending time outdoors.
When the man fell ill, the illness got serious very quickly. The Bourbon virus can cause fever, muscle ache, loss or appetite and can lead to lung and kidney failure. Because it is a virus and not a bacteria, antibiotics didn’t help fight the disease.
The patient was tested for tick-borne illnesses but the tests came up negative.
Thee are many more studies that need to be done to get a clear understanding of the Bourbon virus as this is the first known case. Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University of Kansas Hospital explains: “we have to assume this has been around for some time, and we haven’t been able to diagnose it. We suspect there have been milder cases and people have recovered from them, but we don’t have a lot of information.” (Source.)
Tick-borne diseases can be very serious if not diagnosed and treated properly. If you spend time outdoors in the months ticks are known to be active, it’s important to thoroughly check your body for ticks. If you see one, remove it and place in a plastic bag in case you feel it needs to be tested. If you start to feel sick or experiencing any known symptoms, go to a doctor.
At Mosquito Squad, we help protect our clients from the nuisance and dangers of ticks with our tick treatments for the yard. We use a combination of our barrier spray and tick tubes to attack the ticks at different stages of their lifecycle, greatly reducing their opportunity to infect homeowners.
If you have questions on tick control for your yard, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.