Missouri woman dies from extremely rare tick-borne Bourbon virus

A Missouri mother of three died after contracting a rare, tick-borne illness called Bourbon virus that was first discovered only three years ago.

Tamela Wilson, 58, worked at the Meramec State Park in Sullivan, Missouri, for over a decade, so she didn't panic when she spotted two seed ticks on her skin in late May, according to CBS News.

The veteran outdoorswoman simply pulled the creatures off and went on with her day.

But just three days after removing the ticks, Wilson started to feel ill and went to see her primary care physician, who initially diagnosed her with a urinary tract infection and gave her antibiotics.

One day after her initial doctor's visit, Wilson returned to her physician complaining of severe headaches, pain and a light rash.

After tests revealed she had a low white blood cell count, Wilson was admitted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis where she was eventually diagnosed with Bourbon virus.

Bourbon virus is an extremely rare tick-borne illness that was first discovered in Bourbon County, Kansas, in 2014.

CBS reports that Wilson is only the fifth confirmed case of the deadly virus since its discovery.

According to the CDC, symptoms of the disease included fever, fatigue, rash, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.

Because there is no cure for the illness, doctors are only able to treat a patient's symptoms while allowing the virus to run its course.

Unfortunately, Wilson was never able to recover from the illness. She passed away in the hospital on June 23.

"You wouldn't want this for your worst enemy," Wilson's stepmother Kathy Potter told KMOV. "It makes you fearful about going outside."

Since there is no vaccine or drug to prevent or treat Bourbon virus disease, the CDC recommends avoiding bites from ticks and other insects as the best way to prevent infection.

Click through to see how you can avoid tick bites: