February 21, 2015 9:07 AM EST

Scientists are reporting on a new virus, never seen before anywhere, that apparently killed a Kansas man last year.

They’re calling it Bourbon virus, after the county in Kansas where the previously healthy man lived. He’d been bitten by ticks before he got sick so doctors believe the virus is carried by ticks.

“We were not looking for a new virus,” said Charles Hunt, Kansas state epidemiologist, who helped report on the new virus.

“We are surprised. We really don’t know much about this virus. It’s important to find out more from a public health perspective. It is possible that other persons have been infected with this and not known it?”…

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