Is the Bourbon virus in Ohio? Here's what to know about the deadly tick-borne virus

(Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - After a woman in Missouri died after contracting Bourbon virus she likely contracted from a tick bite, Ohioans should be relived that there hasn't been a reported case in the Buckeye state yet.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this is an extremely rare virus.

In fact, "As of June 27, 2017, a limited number of Bourbon virus disease cases have been identified in the Midwest and southern United States," the CDC advises on its website.

According to Melanie Amato with the Ohio Department of Health, Bourbon virus is not what's known as a reportable disease or illness.

That means it's not one of the areas that local heath departments are required to report to the state if ever contracted by someone in their county.

The state has never had a case of Bourbon virus and the State Department of Health would have more than likely been notified if there had been, said Amato.

Because the virus is so rare -- and largely unknown -- the CDC doesn't have a complete list of symptoms.

"People diagnosed with Bourbon virus disease had symptoms including fever, tiredness, rash, headache, other body aches, nausea, and vomiting. They also had low blood counts for cells that fight infection and help prevent bleeding," according to its website.

In the Missouri case a woman, who worked in a state park, went to a doctor after having two ticks removed and getting sick around the Memorial Day weekend.

What was originally thought to be a urinary tract infection turned out to be possibly only the fifth ever confirmed case of Bourbon virus.

Tamela Wilson died June 23.

With so few cases ever reported, the CDC advises there's very little in the way of treatment.

"Because there is no medicine to treat Bourbon virus disease, doctors can only treat the symptoms. For example, some patients may need to be hospitalized and given intravenous fluids and treatment for pain and fever. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, including Bourbon virus," according to the organization.

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