Tamela Wilson, 58, found two ticks on her body when she was at work.
She removed them and got busy with her work again. But after a while, she started feeling strange.
She went to see her Doctor and the Doctor told her that she had a urinary tract infection. The doctor gave her antibiotics and Tamela returned her home. But, the antibiotics didn’t work and her condition became worse.
“She literally couldn’t even pick up her phone. She had no strength. My sister had been calling her and couldn’t get a hold of her. My mom said the phone was right there ringing, but she could not pick it up to answer it.” Wilson’s daughter, Amie May, told CBS News.
The doctors were also shocked and were unable solve this medical mystery. They tried everything and gave their best to slow Tamela’s deterioration but, nothing happened. With each passing day, Tamela’s condition became worse. Her skin became cracked and dry and she grew weaker.
And then, on June 23rd, 2017, she passed away. It turned out that Tamela was the very first person in the state of Missouri to contract a disease passed on by ticks known as the Bourbon virus.
The staff who treated Tamela were not adequately informed about the virus and its symptoms. According to the director of the Infectious Diseases Center at St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis, Dr. Morey Gardner, there is no listed cure for the Bourbon virus as of now.
The Bourbon virus is transmitted via ticks and other biting insects and its symptoms include high fever, headaches, a decreased appetite, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a rash on the abdomen, chest, and back.
People who go to areas where ticks and other biting insects are present should wear long-sleeved clothing. As there is no vaccine or cure available as of now, people need to be aware and always check themselves thoroughly when in rural areas.