Federal Investigators are responding to reports of the first reported death from newly discovered ‘Bourbon virus”.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has published a study of patient John Seesteed, from Kansas, who after discovering a tick on his shoulder last spring, suffered nausea and diarrhea, which gave way to fever, chills and ultimately death. 

Coining the new infection the “Bourbon Virus” after the county Seestead was from, health officials have linked the new pathogen with a type known as thogotoviruses, that stem from mosquitoes or ticks. Although cases from the known pathogen have been reported in Europe, Asia, and Africa, Seestead’s death is the first reported in the US.

Treatment with antibiotics failed, causing Seesteads condition to worsen and his organs to fail. It is believed that Bourbon virus is likely a contribution to his death. 

No known cases of Bourbon Virus have been reported in NY State, but always remember these tips to avoid being bitten.

  1. Stick to cleared paths and trails. Stay away from grassy, wooded or brushy areas.
  2. Cover up. Wear long-sleeves and long pants tucked into socks. 
  3. Wear light colors, its easier to see a tick.
  4. When returning home, check yourself, and your family, including any pets for ticks.
  5. Use insect repellent containing DEET.
  6. Around your house, remove leaves, keep grass short and reduce weeds. All havens for ticks.
  7. Protect your pets against tick bites.