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New Virus discovered in the U.S!

Medic-ALL (02:21:2015) DISEASE

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC said on Friday, February 20 that the mysterious death of a man in Kansas, U.S last year appears to have been caused by a previously unknown virus.

Naming it the Bourbon virus after the county where the man had lived, researchers from the CDC, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the University of Kansas classified the agent as a new member of the Thogotovirus genus, others of which are known to cause human disease.

The middle aged man had presented in the late spring of 2014 with fever and fatigue. Laboratory examinations revealed thrombocytopenia (low level of platelets) and leukopenia( low level of white blood cells). He reported numerous tick bites in the days prior to falling ill. He was consequently treated with doxycycline, but there was no improvement and he shortly developed multi-organ failure, dying of cardiopulmonary arrest 11 days after symptom onset.

His blood was tested for known tickborne diseases ( Lyme's , Rocky Mountain spotted Fever) but these were negative. However, the investigators reported, "testing of a specimen for antibodies against Heartland virus indicated the presence of another virus."

Electron microscopy revealed virus particles unlike those of known tickborne pathogens in the U.S.; the research team classified them as within the Orthomyxoviridae family, and with further study as a previously unknown Thogotovirus.

The researchers indicated that they would now look to see if Bourbon virus has been present in other human infections. They also plan to "explore its potential geographic distribution and confirm tick as been the vectors.

The discoveries of Bourbon virus, Heartland virus, and similar tickborne diseases in recent years "suggest that the public health burden of these pathogens has been underestimated," the researchers concluded.

Via Mepage Today
Edited by Kayode Kuku for Medic-ALL blog 

Medic-ALL Inc 2015

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