A Farmer Died from a Tick Bite, but What Doctors Discovered Later Changed Everything

Seems like a threat!
Ian Anglin October 21st 2017 Science
Getting tick bites is common for some people - this is not true for city dwellers like most of our readers are. Ticks are frequent in forested and other rugged areas, where you could get bitten even in your own backyard. Most of these bites are not dangerous, although some ticks are carrying the dreaded Lyme disease, which could be incredibly dangerous. Today we are going to be researching an accident where one farm lost his life due to a complicated from a tick bite.
Ticks Are Nasty
If you think about ticks and do some research on Wikipedia, you would learn that they are particularly nasty insects. Not only do they bite, but they also suck the blood of their victims. This not true only for animals, but for humans as well.
They Don't Just Cary Lyme Disease
It turns out, after this farmer died, that ticks don't only carry Lyme Disease. They also care loads of other possible infections and bacteria, and being bitten at the wrong time can truly end up being a fatal encounter. Good thing most people live in cities.
He Was Treated at the University of Kansas Medical Center
The farmer got the best possible treatment, going to the University of Kansas Medical Center, where they did everything they could to save his life, but didn't succeed in the end. His mysterious illness was simply too difficult to treat.
He Got Infected with the "Bourbon Virus"
After the man died, researchers studied his blood and the various tissues in his body. They found out that he died from a mysterious disease, called the "Bourbon Virus." The research was done by the CDC, which means the whole case is a serious matter.
The Virus Was Named After the Town the Farmer Lived In
The dangerous virus got the name "Bourbon" from the town the farmer lived before he died. He is the only case currently known to have suffered from the virus, but more cases are possible in the future - if there are more ticks carrying the deadly virus.
The Case Made the National News
The case regarding the man getting a tick bite has been making national news latterly. While it is only a single case in the US, it has been reported that there have been similar viruses appearing in other countries around the world.
It Is Happening in Other Countries
The genome of the virus that killed the farmer, is similar to several viruses found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. But what puzzles researchers such as Dr. Dana Hawkinson, is that the virus had never detected and isolated in the Western hemisphere.
It Took 6 Months to Determine the Cause of Death
It took the CDC a whopping 6 months to determine the cause of death of the farmer. The virus was never thought of to be spread on American soil, and that is why the CDC never thought about testing his blood for those pathogens.
Symptoms Can Include Fever, Anorexia and Muscle Aches
As noted in the title of this picture, the virus can have a multitude of symptoms attached to it. Some of these symptoms are fever, anorexia and muscle aches. These are fairly common flu and cold symptoms, so some people may think that nothing dangerous is happening with their body.
The Virus Is Resistant to Antibiotics
Unfortunately, according to the researchers that studies this new disease, the newly detected Bourbon Virus is resistant to our currently known antibiotics (antibiotics are only good for killing bacteria) and other medicine, which means there was no chance of saving the farmer's life.
The Health Department Did a Press Conference
The case with the farmer's death was so serious, that the Health Department had to issue a press release, stating, "This was the first known instance and the only confirmed case." A spokesperson also added that "This is a new virus, and we are still learning."
We Ignore Many Similar Small Bites
This is the fact with most people today - we get bitten so often by mosquitos and other insects, that we take most bites for granted. But we run the risk of getting serious infections and disease every day. Even mosquitoes can cause diseases such as Malaria.
The Virus is Fast Moving and Severe
After the farmer was identified, researchers led by Dr. Dana Hawkinson, determined that the virus is not only fatal but that it is also fast-moving and severe, causing acute lung and kidney failure, as well as shock and a high fever.
The Virus Was of Type Thogotovirus
The family of the virus, in this case, is called Thogotovirus, which is part of a larger family known as orthomyxoviruses. The nearest similar viruses are found in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia, Dr. Hawkinson told reporters. Let's hope additional cases of the virus don't appear.
There Is No Treatment
Sadly, there is no known treatment for the deadly disease of these Thogotoviruses. Antibiotics can't work since they target only bacteria, and even in such cases, antibiotics are not always resistant, and every year there are more and more drug-resistant bacteria's appearing.


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