In a tragic, freak incident, a woman has become the very first person in the state of Missouri to contract a disease passed on by ticks known as the Bourbon virus – and the fifth known, confirmed case of this virus all around the world since its discovery in 2014.
When Tamela Wilson removed two ticks from her body during the Memorial Day weekend, she began feeling a little strange. She went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a UTI, which seemed reasonable to all involved at the time. But the antibiotics she was given didn’t help, and her condition worsened every day.
Doctors were stumped and labelled her a medical mystery. They tried to help her, but nothing worked, and Wilson passed away on the 23rd of June.
Wilson’s family – including her father and stepmother – donated her body to science in order to help with ongoing research regarding the Bourbon virus at the Center for Disease Control, which has also been collecting ticks to test and examine.
According to the director of the Infectious Diseases Center at St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis, Dr. Morey Gardner, as of now there is no listed cure for the Bourbon virus.
Those who regularly hang out in parks and other areas where ticks are rampant are urged to wear long sleeves and long trousers, to wear repellent, and to check themselves for ticks regularly.
This devastating loss is deeply saddening for the family of Wilson, but they are proud that she is helping science advance in its knowledge of the condition. Share away, people.