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.