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Tick Bourbon Virus Claims a Life

Posted by Jennifer Smith on

Recently, Deerbusters discussed a rare tick disease called the Bourbon Virus that has made headlines in Missouri and New York. Little is known about the tick virus that was first discovered in 2014. Today, we learn that 58-year-old Tamela Wilson, a Missouri woman, has died from the disease.

Wilson is the first confirmed case in Missouri for the Bourbon Virus; but a New York man has contracted the disease. Missouri officials warn about the outbreak of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis which has been a problem this year.

Doctors did not test Wilson for tick diseases; but instead treated her for a urinary track infection (UTI) and prescribed her antibiotics.

“Every day we’d go to the hospital and she’d get worse,” Geoff Potter, another relative, told Fox 6 Now. “No improvement.”

After her condition worsened, she had further blood work tested from the CDC which confirmed that this was the Bourbon Virus. Wilson had developed secondary diseases because of the tick illness including pneumonia.

The Bourbon tick virus was discovered in 2014 in Bourbon County, Kansas; but not much is known about the disease. Researchers know that this tick virus does share similarities to other tick illnesses including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and ehrilichiosis. At this time, there aren't specific tests, except at the CDC, nor a vaccine or cure for the virus.

Tick illness symptoms are similar to the flu; and if you feel that you may have contracted a tick-borne disease, get tested by a doctor immediately.