Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Can a tick really paralyze a person?

Can a tick really paralyze a person? Can a tick really paralyze a person?
Melissa Porter | 13 June, 2018, 19:33

A five-year-old girl in MS temporarily lost the ability to walk after she developed "tick paralysis", a rare condition caused by tick bites.

After waking her daughter to get ready for daycare, Jessica Griffin noticed that Kailyn struggled to stand on her own and was slurring her speech, according to news reports.

Jessica Griffin, from MS in the U.S., said she did not realise anything was wrong with Kailyn until the little girl woke up last Wednesday morning.

After testing, Kailyn was diagnosed with tick paralysis. She included two photos in her post, which were the tick in Kailyn's head and the removed tick in a plastic bag.

The post, which received over 107,000 reactions and 414,000 shares, was followed by a photo of Kailyn walking out of the hospital with "Get Well" balloons. It was unclear what type of tick bit her daughter. Griffin, of Grenada, Mississippi, wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday that seemed a mixture of worry and relief. Scary is [an] UNDERSTATEMENT!

Symptoms can take up to seven days to develop.

More than 40 tick species worldwide are known to cause tick paralysis.

Tick paralysis is caused by a neurotoxin produced in the parasite's salivary gland. Paralysis sets in slowly, starting in the legs and spreading into upper body, stopping your breathing if left unchecked. The disease usually starts with fatigue and muscle pains. Through their research that ran between January and December 2017, they found that Chicago, Boise, Dayton, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Rapid City, South Dakota, and St. Louis had the most ticks in their cities.

But human children are also susceptible due to their smaller body mass. Girls get tick paralysis more frequently because the ticks can easily hide in a mass of hair, according to the foundation. "We are being admitted to the hospital for observation and we're hoping her balance gets straightened out!" she wrote.

The video was watched about 22 million times and shared more than 600,000 times before a doctor at the hospital she had been admitted to found the tick in her scalp.

Once it was removed, Evelyn was walking the next day. Later that evening, Kailin was able to walk out of the hospital. Removing the tick usually provides symptom relief within 24 hours, though if the tick isn't removed, paralysis can spread to the respiratory system and can be fatal.