FOX NEWS - The family of a Missouri woman who died from a rare tick-borne illness is speaking out about the dangers of the virus, which has only been confirmed in a handful of patients since it was discovered in 2014. Tamela Wilson, who died June 23 of complications stemming from Bourbon virus, had worked at Meramec State Park in Sullivan, and removed two ticks from her body a few weeks prior to falling ill, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The 58-year-old woman’s stepmother, Kathy Potter, said doctors didn’t know to test for the disease, and diagnosed her with a urinary tract infection before sending her home with antibiotics.
“Every day we’d go to the hospital and she’d get worse,” Geoff Potter, another relative, told Fox 6 Now. “No improvement.”
She was eventually admitted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital on May 31, and her blood was tested for other tick-borne illnesses before being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which confirmed Bourbon virus, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirmed.
There currently is no medicine to treat Bourbon virus, and some patients may require hospitalization for some symptoms. According to the CDC, because there have only been a few cases of the virus identified, the medical community is still learning about potential symptoms, but patients may experience fever, tiredness, rash, headache, body aches, nausea and vomiting. They may also present low blood cell counts.