Recent collaborate research from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the new Bourbon virus may be spread by ticks or mosquitos.
A Kansas resident is suspected of dying last summer from the Bourbon virus (named after the resident’s home county).
Health professionals have not yet reached an agreement as to whether the patient died from Bourbon virus or from other causes. Scientists agree that the patient’s changes in blood counts and overall symptoms correlate with a virus caused by ticks, however the resident never positively tested for a tick-borne virus.
Bourbon virus symptoms include fatigue and fever. So far, there are no treatments available for Bourbon virus.
Researchers continue to investigate the new virus by testing ticks and insects and other residents with similar symptoms.
Health professionals say tick-borne diseases do not spread during the winter months.
Still, to reduce the chances of contracting Bourbon virus, avoid areas that are grassy, bushy or wooded; use insect repellent when outdoors; and shower or bathe as soon as you return inside. Regularly check your pets for ticks.