CDC Investigating Newly Discovered Virus

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported the discovery of a new virus that is suspected to have taken a life in Kansas.

The virus, named ‘Bourbon’ (after the county where the patient lived), is part of the group thogotoviruses. This group is usually connected with tick-borne or mosquito-borne disease in Asia, Africa, and Europe. This is the first time a virus from the group has caused human illness in the US.

The patient reported of several tick bites he had received in the days before he become symptomatic. Clinical manifestations in this individual included fever, anorexia, fatigue nausea, vomiting, and a maculopapular rash, with blood tests showing a decreased number of thrombocytes and white blood cells. Assumed to be suffering from a tick-borne disease, doctors administered doxycycline but the patient failed to improve, and died shortly after. Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) determined it was a new virus.

Supportive therapy, treating the symptoms, such as IV fluids to prevent dehydration and painkillers to manage fever can be used to make the patient more comfortable and may increase chances of recovery.

Usual procedures used to minimize chances of tick-bites, such as implementation of insect repellent and checking for ticks after time spent outdoors, should be used to minimize the chance of exposure to this virus.

CDC has collaborated with KDHE and UKMC with the aim to identify more cases of Bourbon virus, to better understand the symptoms and infection transmission, in order to provide a way to prevent the further spread of the virus, if that is deemed a necessary precaution.

The report can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/a0220-newly-discovered-virus.html
Image credit: Center for Disease Control

 

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