Ticks are probably one of most people’s least favorite things. In fact, if Maria from “The Sound of Music” were to sing “These Are a Few of My Least Favorite Things” you can bet your sweet bippy that ticks would be on that list. Recently, a new reason to dislike ticks has identified; a new tick-borne illness was discovered after it took a man’s life in Kansas.
The new disease called “Bourbon virus” is named for the county it was identified in. The man who was infected and subsequently died from this disease was a farmer and scientists from the Centers of Disease Control who identified the virus think he was infected through a tick bite when he was outdoors.
The Bourbon virus causes fever, muscle ache, loss of appetite and can lead to lung and kidney failure. When the patient entered the hospital he was treated tested for a variety of illnesses, including other tick-borne diseases, for which he tested negative. The disease progressed very quickly and killed an otherwise healthy man 10 days after he entered the hospital.
Doctors believe that this is merely the first case that has been identified of this illness and that it has probably infected other people who just didn’t get as sick as this patient did. Diseases that you can contract from tick bites can be very serious if not diagnosed and treated. This summer if you spend time outside make sure to check yourself for ticks. If you find one, remove it and put it in a plastic bag just in case you need to have it on hand to be tested, should you develop an illness. After being bitten, if you feel sick or experience any unusual symptoms, make sure to see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you live in an area with an active tick population you should call in professionals to treat your yard with a barrier spray and possibly tick tubes in order to get the ticks at different life stages. This will help you to enjoy your outdoor space without worrying about deadly tick-borne illness for you, your family and your pets.