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Some Rangers May Have Contracted A Rare Tick-Borne Disease At A US State Park

Some Rangers May Have Contracted A Rare Tick-Borne Disease At A US State Park

Since tick-borne diseases are more problematic than mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, many people cannot help but to learn more and more about the several different tick-borne diseases that exist. Some tick-borne diseases are relatively common, while others are so rare that they are virtually unheard of among the American public.  The Bourbon virus is one of the rarest tick-borne diseases known to exist. Despite its rarity, a state park official contracted the virus while working at Meramec State Park in Missouri last summer. The woman’s diagnosis made headlines when it became public in June of 2017. Since the victim contracted the tick-borne disease while in a state park, many Americans began to wonder how common this little known, and apparently deadly, tick-borne disease is becoming in the US. The news also led many to question the risk of contracting tick-borne diseases when visiting state and national parks.

Since the state park employee became ill several months ago, investigators have been working to determine how prevalent the virus is among ticks that are found within the park. Researchers have finally released the long awaited results concerning the amount of diseased ticks in Meramec State Park. Of the seven thousand ticks tested for diseases within the state park, not a single tick was found to be carrying the Bourbon virus. All the park rangers employed at Meremac State Park were tested for tick-borne diseases, but the results of their tests are not being released to the public due to confidentiality laws. So far, none of the park rangers have reported their results to the media. Hopefully, they all tested negative for tick-borne diseases.

Despite the fact that researchers did not find a single case of the Bourbon virus among ticks in Meramec State Park, they did find several ticks that were carrying the heartland disease. The heartland disease is similar to the Bourbon virus and was discovered in Missouri in 2009. Both of these diseases cause fever, headache, body aches, rash and fatigue. The researchers were sure to mention that other untested ticks within Meramec State Park may possibly be carrying the Bourbon virus.

Do you think that the Bourbon virus infected any other employees at Meramec State Park?