(Bloomberg) — U.S health officials are investigating a new strain of virus linked to the death of a Kansas man, who fell ill after being bitten by a tick, then went into organ failure and died about two weeks later.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that it’s working with Kansas officials to find any other cases. They’ve named the virus “Bourbon” after the county where the man lived.

The pathogen belongs to a group known as thogotoviruses. The Kansas man’s death is the first time a thogotovirus is known to have caused human illness in the U.S., and only the eighth time one is known to have caused symptoms in people, according to an article published Friday in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.
The Kansas man was doing outdoor work in Bourbon County last year, the CDC said, when he went to the doctor after finding an engorged tick on his shoulder and falling ill a few days later. He had a fever and headache, according to the article, and was given an antibiotic commonly used against tick-borne diseases. The man’s condition didn’t improve, however, and his kidney function deteriorated and he couldn’t breath on his own. On day 11 of his illness, he died.

Kansas officials said in December that they were investigating the virus with the CDC, and that it resembled other tick-borne illnesses.
Before he became sick, the man, who was more than 50 years old, was considered healthy, the CDC said in the report. CDC researchers identified the virus by looking for genetic traces in the man’s blood.
The recent discovery of Heartland virus in Missouri, also possibly linked to ticks, led the CDC to say that “that the public health burden of these pathogens has been underestimated.” Next-generation sequencing, a fairly new technology that can scan blood samples for many viruses or bacteria at once, will help health researchers make similar discoveries in the future, the CDC said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Edney in Washington at
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Crayton Harrison at Drew Armstrong, Cecile Daurat

Thogoto: From Thogoto forest in Kenya, where thogoto virus was first isolated.

Type: Thogoto virus (THOV)
Main: Bourbon virus (BOUV)
Dhori virus (DHOV)

Thogoto virus SiAr 126
Sequence: RNA1 RNA2 RNA3 RNA4 RNA5 RNA6
Genome | Proteome

Human (Dhori, Bourbon virus), Mammals (Thogoto virus)
Vector: Tick
Reservoir: animal

Africa, Europe, India, North America

Fever, encephalitis

Zoonosis, arthropod bite, usually by ticks


For all of you who have eagerly been waiting to hear Dr. Hoffman’s talk at our last Madison Lyme Support Group meeting, here it is in an audio format as the video was too long to post. He starts speaking at 1:00 (one minute into the audio)

Thanks again to Ellie and Cam for making this happen!

Also, stay tuned, but our next meeting will be Sat. March 28 from 1:30-3:30 (we can stay until 4:45) at the Pinney Library Branch at 204 Cottage Grove Road, Madison, WI.  Dr. Waters, LLMD and Integrative Doctor from Wisconsin Dells will be speaking. There are videos you can watch, blogs, archived newsletters, published papers, and upcoming lectures.

Hope to see you there!

Dr. Hoffman to Speak

Good news! Dr. Hoffman has agreed to make the trek down to Madison, WI to speak at our next Lyme Support Meeting! Our next meeting will be Sat Jan 31 at the Pinney Library on Cottage Grove Road, Madison, from 2-4pm. Please mark your calendars and write down your questions. Dr. Hoffman has been treating Lyme and the various co-infections for over 30 years in Wisconsin.

Hoffmann pic

Well, it’s that time of year again.  Seems like whether we are ready for it or not, decorating the house, fixing special food, attending parties, purchasing gifts, and in general, expending a lot of energy is upon us when we’d much rather stay home hunkered down in our blankies and in our footie pajamas!

These things are daunting for the healthy but for the chronically ill, we often wish we could “quit Christmas,” and we find ourselves more in the company of Scrooge than with angels.  How are we going to do it?  How can we keep things rolling when we feel more like dying than living?

Let me propose something.  Let’s look at this season perhaps a little differently this year.

How about we meditate on some words that might help us refocus our limited energy and finances.

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
― Charles Dickens

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”
― Bob Hope

“Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.”
― Steve Maraboli

“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. ”
― Mary Ellen Chase

Did you notice that the word “presents” wasn’t even mentioned once?  The resounding theme is an attitude of the heart.  Honoring, loving, forgiving, feeding, welcoming, and clothing are the verbs used here.

Now it is true that often in order to feed and clothe, we must move physically.  Perhaps you don’t have the energy for that this year.  Forgive yourself.  Seriously.  Forgive yourself.  Someone else is going to have to that for you this year.  It’s OK.  But, you can love, you can honor, and you can forgive – all from your bed if need be.

I once had a powerful conversation with my old retired doc.  He said something I’ve never forgotten.  He said, “When I worked the mental wards, nearly all of them had an issue with forgiveness.”  Since this conversation, I’ve read, thought, and pondered how important it is to forgive.  It definitely has a role in your healing.  Forgiving is probably the best present we can give - to ourselves.  Forgiveness does not require you to become best friends with the person who hurt you, it only requires that you drop the grudge.  Instead of repeating the inner mantra you’ve had going – replace it with – I forgive them.  Boulders will be lifted from your shoulders.  It’s a choice though, and no one can make it but you.

Our next support meeting will be Sat. Jan 31 from 2-4 at the Pinney Library in Madison again.  Hope to see you all there!  I also hope those at our last meeting have sought out treatment.  I look forward to hearing all of your progress.

Until then:

“No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear.”
― Greg Kincaid

Healing Service

City church will be having a healing service December 13th and 14th at 7 pm. Also, there is a healing ministry training on Saturday the 13th at 10 at the church as well.  This will all be led by Chris Gore from Bethel church in Redding, California.  All is open to the public and there will be childcare both nights for children, infant to four.

Address: City Church:  4909 E Buckeye Rd, Madison, WI 53716
Phone: (608) 221-1528

As all Lyme and Co sufferers know, treatment is a virtual labyrinth.  You have to support your gut, you have to treat the three forms of Borrelia, you usually have to fight against various protozoans, fungus, virus, and things they probably haven’t even named yet!

The following article explains why we get so ill and why it’s so difficult to treat.  Dr. Horowitz calls it MSIDS, or “multi-systemic infectious disease syndrome,” as the term Lyme Disease, frankly just doesn’t explain things adequately from a patient or physician’s perspective or do justice to our suffering.  And perhaps if we can clearly label and define this horrendous disease(s) we will finally start to break through the current barrier that puts is in an isolated underground.

“In the study, researchers collected local ticks and allowed them to feed on laboratory rats that had been bred in captivity and were free of disease. Afterward, they examined the ticks and the rats for bacteria believed to cause disease. Findings? The ticks contained 373 types of bacteria and had transmitted 237 to the rats. The authors concluded there is “unambiguous evidence that there are as-yet unidentified pathogens associated with ticks [which] increases the risk of multiple infections in humans, [leading] to more severe clinical manifestations.”

A single bite can transmit multiple tick-borne diseases or a victim may be co-infected through multiple tick bites from multiple ticks. According to a study of patients in Connecticut and Minnesota, 20% of patients with Lyme disease also showed evidence of a co-infection. LDo’s own recently published survey of over 3,000 patients with chronic Lyme found over 50% had at least one co-infection and 30% had two or more co-infections.

The most common co-infections in the LDo study were Babesia (32%), Bartonella (28%), and Ehrlichia (15%) while a study by Dr. Janet Sperling in Canada found that the most common were Bartonella (36%), Babesia (19%), and Anaplasma (13%).

All reported tickborne diseases have increased significantly over time according to the Institute of Medicine. Between 1992 and 2006, the incidence of Lyme disease increased 101%. Between 2000 and 2008, the incidence of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) shot up over 400%. Between 2000 and 2007, the incidence of anaplasmosis rose by 275%, while the incidence of ehrlichiosis increased by more than 100%.

Many co-infections threaten more than just the tick host. For example, Babesia can be passed from mother to unborn child and by transfusion. A recent CDC article reveals that the percentage of ticks infected with Babesia in Maine increased from 29% in 1995 to 60% in 2011. A similar study in New York showed that the Babesia co-infection rate was twice as high as previously thought. This increase in infection rates puts residents, babies, and the blood supply at greater risk.”

This is an excellent article to have in your arsenal for educating others.  We simply must get the word out that this isn’t just our problem.  It’s become everyone’s problem.  And it’s far more prevalent than H1N1 or Ebola – which always seems to get all the press.

I encourage you to send family and friends information such as the article above which is short, sweet, and to the point, about how prevalent Lyme and Co really is, how debilitating it can make you, and how it will change your life.  Something within me tells me that WE are going to have to do the footwork on this one.

Drum roll, please…..

Mike NicholsMike Nickel will be speaking at our November support group meeting in Madison.  His son, Jesse, had Lyme in 2004 and was in a wheelchair at one point in his journey.  He is now a normal college kid going to classes.  Mike started the online Wisconsin Lyme Yahoo support health group and was past President of Wisconsin’s state-wide non-profit, Wisconsin Lyme Network.  He travels statewide speaking at various Wisconsin support groups and will be answering your questions at our meeting.

I want to encourage you to attend as Mike is familiar with the various treatments as well as the Wisconsin doctors who are versed in these treatments.  This would also be a great meeting to bring family members to as he can explain the importance of support – personally understanding the crucial role family plays in the healing of the person fighting this very isolating disease.

Please mark Sat. Nov. 22 from 2-4 at the Pinney Library in Madison on your calendar.  You won’t want to miss this!


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