Officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed on Monday that they have discovered a new type of virus, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The discovery was made after an investigation was carried out regarding the mysterious death of a man from Kansas. Officials did not reveal the name of the man in order to protect his family.
Although the exact cause of the man's death is still unclear, health department officials discovered that he was infected with a new type of virus. Officials called it the "Bourbon" virus, which was named after the Kansas county the man lived in.
Further investigation revealed that the virus is carried by ticks and other kinds of small insects. The symptoms of the disease include fever and fatigue.
Dr. Dana Hawkins of the University of Kansas Hospital said that due to the mysterious case of the man, the medical facility coordinated with the health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify the virus.
"It was very frustrating," she told KSHB. "That's one of the biggest problems with my job, which I love, when we can't answer those questions, when we can't help the patients or their families."
"We continued to push and have concerns as to why this happened," she added. "The CDC was on board with us and was able to help us with that and we were now able to identify this new virus."
Officials handling the matter noted that it is not yet confirmed how long the virus has been around. They also don't know yet if there are other people in the country who have been infected by the Bourbon virus.
For now, there is no known cure for the virus since officials are still at the early stages of their investigation. However, since it has been confirmed that the disease spreads through insect and tick bites, the CDC highly suggests practicing precautionary methods to avoid getting bitten. This includes wearing pants and long-sleeved tops, applying insect repellents, and avoiding walking through grassy areas.