Mysterious Virus That Killed a Farmer in Kansas Is Identified
A new tick borne virus discovered in the Midwest.
Researchers have identified a previously unknown virus, thought to be transmitted by ticks or mosquitoes, that led to the death of a farmer in Kansas last summer.
The illness was fast-moving and severe, causing lung and kidney failure, and shock. The man, previously healthy, died after about only 10 days in the hospital, according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an infectious disease specialist who treated the patient at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City.
The newly discovered microbe has been named the Bourbon virus, for the county where the patient lived, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said in a statement released Monday. The virus was identified by scientists at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a process that took several months, according to Dr. J. Erin Staples, a medical epidemiologist at the C.D.C. laboratory in Fort Collins, Colo.