The newly discovered virus is probably being spread by ticks

By Caitlin Keating
Updated February 21, 2015 12:40 PM
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Credit: Courtesy CDC

Last spring a healthy Kansas man in his 50s became ill after being bitten by ticks on his property – and now it appears that bite may have caused his death.

He became so sick with nausea, weakness and diarrhea, and continued to get progressively sicker, according to USA Today.

Doctors sent his blood to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where they discovered that he was infected with a previously undiscovered virus never known to cause illness in the U.S.

The virus is being called the Bourbon virus because the unidentified man lived in Bourbon County, Kansas.

The man was originally treated with antibiotics and the his doctors are saying he “did all the right things,” according to the newspaper.

His death could be a rare case where a common virus becomes deadly, the newspaper reports.

It’s also possible that the virus has changed or evolved to become more dangerous.