Research into Bourbon virus using strain from Missouri woman

ST. LOUIS – Two years after a Missouri park employee died from complications from the Bourbon virus, researchers are using a strain of the virus taken from her to try to figure out how to treat the tick-borne disease.

Meramec State Park Assistant Superintendent Tamela Wilson died in June 2017 after being bitten by an infected tick near her home outside Sullivan.

The Washington Missourian reports Dr. Jacco Boon of Washington University is using lab mice infected with the Bourbon virus to research a possible cure. He is working with Barnes-Jewish Hospital doctors who diagnosed and treated Wilson before her death.

Because the disease is rare, researchers are using a strain of Bourbon virus taken from Wilson to create cultures and conduct the testing.

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