Bourbon virus infection (patient information)

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Bourbon virus infection Microchapters


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Differentiating Bourbon virus infection from other Diseases

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] ; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Aditya Ganti M.B.B.S. [2]


Bourbon virus belongs to a group of viruses called thogotoviruses. Viruses in this group are found all over the world. A few of these viruses can cause people to get sick.

What are the symptoms of Bourbon virus infection?

Because there have been few cases identified thus far, scientists are still learning about possible symptoms caused by this new virus. People diagnosed with Bourbon virus disease had symptoms including fever, tiredness, rash, headache, other body aches, nausea, and vomiting. They also had low blood counts for cells that fight infection and help prevent bleeding.

What causes Bourbon virus infection?

Bourbon virus infection is caused by a type of thogotovirus, which belongs to Orthomyxoviridae family.

Who is at highest risk?

People likely become infected with Bourbon virus when they are bitten by a tick or other insect. Therefore, people who do not take steps to protect themselves from tick or insect bites when they work or spend time outside may be more likely to be infected.


Tests that will help a doctor diagnose Bourbon virus infection are currently under development. See your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms that concern you.

When to seek urgent medical care?

Call your health care provider if:

  • You develop symptoms of Bourbon virus infection

Treatment options

Because there is no medicine to treat Bourbon virus disease, doctors can only treat the symptoms. For example, some patients may need to be hospitalized and given intravenous fluids and treatment for pain and fever. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, including Bourbon virus.

Where to find medical care for Bourbon virus infection?

Directions to Hospitals Treating Bourbon virus infection


There is no vaccine or drug to prevent or treat Bourbon virus disease. Therefore, preventing bites from ticks and other insects may be the best way to prevent infection. Here are ways to protect yourself from tick and other bug bites when you are outdoors:

  • Use insect repellents
  • Wear long sleeves and pants
  • Avoid bushy and wooded areas
  • Perform thorough tick checks after spending time outdoors

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

From 2014-2017 only 5 cases have been reported with Bourbon virus infection and all resulted in death.

Possible complications

Complications that can develop as a result of Bourbon virus infection are:


Things to Remember

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