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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tick bites: A new need to worry

Seems like it wasn't too long ago that tick bites were more of an annoyance instead of a threat. But even in the last few years, it has become clear that a bite may not just make you sick- it can kill you.

As was the case recently at Meramec State Park, where a healthy 58-year-old woman who fell ill after a tick bite. A short time later, she passed away from what is known as the Bourbon virus.

The Bourbon virus was named after a man in rural Kansas died from the same symptoms in 2014- adding yet another lethal concern for everyone, not just those who regularly spend time outdoors.

Like other tick borne illnesses, the Bourbon virus causes flu like symptoms which are often misdiagnosed, leaving doctors somewhat mystified with no known treatment options.

What can you do?

First, if spending time outdoors, apply a good dose of tick repellent- DEET based solutions are recommended as there are several others that seem to work equally as well.

If you find a tick bite and are having any flu like symptoms, see a doctor immediately. Be sure to tell them you have a tick bite. If you've been outdoors and have symptoms check and recheck for ticks, as they can be hard to spot sometimes. Give the doctor as much information as you can, time can be critical.

Some good information can be found here regarding safeguards and treatment: