The Kansas Department of Health and Environment stated that the mysterious virus that killed the farmer in Kansas last summer has been identified as Bourbon virus, named after the county were the patient lived. Doctor Dana Hawkinson, infectious disease specialist, treated the patient for 10 days at the University of Kansas Hospital. Bourbon virus, a microbe, was identified by the scientist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after several months of testing. Doctor J Erin Staples, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC laboratory in For Collins, CO, stated the virus was a type of thogovirus, part of the larger family called orthomyxovirures. Hawkinson believe that the virus has been around in milder forms for some time now and people have recovered from it. The patient entered the hospital with symptoms which included high fever, muscle aches, and loss of appetite. Upon further testing the patients blood showed elevated liver enzymes and low levels of white blood cells and platelets which indicated tick-borne illnesses. Hawkinson tested the patient for Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Heartland virus, both came back negative. Heartland virus is also another recently discovered/named by the CDC tick-borne illness. There is no treatment for the disease and the best defense is to wear long garments when working outdoors and wearing bug spray containing DEET. The risk to the public is low especially because mosquitos and ticks are not active in cold weather.
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