Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Important News Concerning "The Bourbon Virus"

Would you like to bet that Bourbon Virus isn't just in Kansas anymore ?

                  I remember when Lyme Disease was new.  I remember when HIV-AIDS was newly described.  Now, we have all lived long enough to hear of a new virus.  The Bourbon Virus is a tick borne virus so named because it afflicted its first known victim in Bourbon County, Kansas.   The first known victim, a male farmer, died of this illness, despite being in good health prior to this. For those of you who have an interest in epidemiology, this is one of the thogotoviruses which is a member of the orthomyxoviridae viruses, which is an RNA virus.  This is the first disease causing virus of this type which has been identified and located in the Western Hemisphere.   It is similar to some of the viruses in Africa, Asia and Europe.

                  The description of this virus and what the implications of its presence here are in its infancy.  We have no idea, as yet, whether this will afflict people annually, or whether only a few cases will occur, and most of them will be deaths attributed to something else, and not identified as "Bourbon virus".  We also don't know whether some people will recover from the illness, or whether everyone clinically afflicted will die.    So far, what we know is that the one person afflicted suffered a loss of appetite, body and muscle aches, headache, fever, and ultimately cascading multiple organ failure. (Primarily lung and kidney failure with elevated AST and ALT, which are liver enzymes.)   I am reminded of erlichiosis which is an increasing problem in both human beings and animals where I am.

                 There are many tick borne illnesses in both the United States and the world.  You may wish to read the following links to prior posts here as a refresher for next season.






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