The CDC says it has discovered a new virus after it killed a man in Kansas.
It’s called the Bourbon Virus, named after the county where the man lived. Scientists believe that it’s spread by a tick or an insect bite.
When the man fell ill last year, he suffered from flu-like symptoms but doctors couldn’t figure out what was making him sick.
The man, who was under the age of 50, was bitten by numerous ticks while working outside on his property in eastern Kansas. He died 11 days later.
Doctors tested his blood for several possible infections but came up short. When his blood samples were sent to the CDC, it took months of testing before they realized they were dealing with something new.
“It was very frustrating. That’s one of the biggest problems with my job, which I love, is when we can’t answer those kinds of questions and we can’t help the patients or their families.”
Researchers believe it’s possible other people may have been infected before, but never this severe. NBC News reports, scientists plan to visit the area when the weather gets warmer to look for insects and maybe even animals that might carry the virus.
Health officials recommend using insect repellents and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect against tick bites.