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CDC: New Virus Likely Killed Bourbon County Man

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more details about a new virus that may have contributed to the death of a southeast Kansas resident late last spring. Heartland Health Monitor’s Dan Margolies reports.

The so-called Bourbon virus is named for the county where the man received multiple tick bites while working on his property. Several days later he developed nausea, weakness and diarrhea. Eleven days after he was bitten, he suffered multiple organ failure and died of cardiac arrest. The CDC has now officially identified the novel virus as belonging to a group called thogotoviruses. The CDC says the Kansas case is the first instance of a virus in this group causing human illness in the United States. Kansas state epidemiologist Charles Hunt, one of the authors of the CDC study, said “We’ve identified a new virus that appears to be a pathogen that could be dangerous to humans. Any new virus or agent that has the potential to harm human health is something that we need to be concerned about.” The discovery of the virus, along with those of Heartland virus in Missouri and other pathogens in China, leads the CDC to believe that other undiscovered viruses may be making people sick.

Heartland Health Monitor is a collaborative reporting project designed to cover health issues affecting America's heartland.

Bourbon County Man's Death Leads to Discovery of New Virus


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