The rare and mysterious Bourbon virus has emerged in two U.S. states and is being spread to humans by ticks.
A dangerous new virus that is being spread from ticks has been documented in two U.S. states.
The Bourbon virus was named after its first case that was discovered in Bourbon County, Kansas in 2004. According to Vox, a farmer fell ill after getting tick bites while working in the fields and sought advice from his doctor. His doctor assumed it was a different tick-borne illness and treated him for it, but the farmer later died from the then unknown virus. There are currently no medicines to treat the illness itself, but there are ways to lessen the severity of the symptoms, which include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, rash and joint pain.
The virus has now been found in both Oklahoma and Kansas. Bourbon is also similar to the Powassan virus, which was recently found in ticks throughout the Northeast and the Great Lakes Region.
The best way to protect yourself from Bourbon virus is to stay clear of ticks. Stay out of wooded areas, where ticks tend to live, wear bug repellent and keep your body covered with long sleeves and pants. If you believe you may have contracted the virus or a similar illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend contacting your doctor as soon as possible.