Bourbon Virus

A farmer passed away in Kansas in 2014 from what is believed to be a new tickborne disease. Named for Bourbon county in Kansas, the Bourbon virus is a thogotovirus and similar to both the Dhori virus and the Batken virus, which are both found only in the eastern hemisphere.

Bourbon virus endocytosis
Bourbon virus, image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The man had symptoms similar to those of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, including that he had a rash on his abdomen. He passed away from multiple organ failure after 11 days.

The virus has not yet been found in ticks, but is believed to be tickborne because he had recently had a tick bite and attach itself.

If it is a tickborne disease, dogs may be at risk of the disease as well, and of course dogs can carry ticks in from outdoors and endanger humans.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment tracks the most common tickborne diseases in Kansas: Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Lyme disease, and ehrlichiosis.


Tick Surveillance Program in Alberta Canada

The health department in Alberta Canada is working to determine the risk of Lyme disease in Alberta. Folks in that area should safely collect and contain any tick they find on their pets, themselves or other humans, or walking around unattached.

Ticks-Surveillance-SubmitFollow the directions on this website for how to submit the tick to aid in the statistical survey. You don’t have to identify the type of tick. That will be determined later as part of the survey. All blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks) submitted will then be tested for the bacteria that transmit Lyme disease.

This program doesn’t test humans or dogs for Lyme disease, nor does it return results about the ticks submitted. But by submitting any ticks you find, you’ll help Alberta Health determine the risk of Lyme disease in your area.


Ticks in Alaska

Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Yes, ticks that carry diseases endangering dogs and humans are sadly now found in Alaska. The two species that seem to be best established are the American Dog tick and the brown dog tick.

Ticks in Alaska were formerly limited to species that principally fed on small rodents and were not dangerous to dogs or humans.

So far, tick infestations of these dangerous species new to Alaska have been found in Anchorage, Denali National Park, Fairbanks, Juneau, North Pole, Sitka, Valdez, and Willow. Veterinarians are recommending that people in these areas check their dogs for ticks and consider tick prevention treatments.

Tick silhouette


“Big Tick Project” in the U.K.

Tickborne diseases are becoming more of a problem in Great Britain. The “Big Tick Project” of the University of Bristol is helping spread awareness of the dangers of ticks.

Veterinarians are helping collect ticks found on dogs throughout the country and send them to the university for data collection.

The video covers the growing tick problem in the U.K. and also offers information to owner on how to identify and remove ticks correctly from their dogs