Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Young girl's sudden paralysis caused by tick on her scalp

Young girl's sudden paralysis caused by tick on her scalp

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.

Jessica Griffin wrote on Facebook that doctors in MS performed a multitude of tests and a CT scan on her daughter, Kailyn, suspecting everything from a stroke to a neurological syndrome - until they found the cause of little girl's odd symptoms: A tick on the crown of her head.

Griffin said Kailyn was "perfectly fine" the night before, but things took a "scary" turn on June 6 when she woke her up for school.

At the hospital, the doctors did blood tests and performed a CT scan to confirm that Kailyn did, in fact, have tick paralysis.

"PLEASE for the love of god check your kids for ticks!" she posted, in part.

Griffin followed up with a photo of her daughter walking out of the hospital later that evening.

If someone who has been outdoors in the spring or summer months suddenly becomes weak and appears to be getting worse, tick paralysis could be the cause. According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation, tick paralysis occurs when an engorged, egg-laden female tick transmits a neurotoxin to its host.

Women and children are most at risk. Kailyn woke up and couldn't walk!

Apart from tick paralysis, the ticks can cause a number of other heath disease like the Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and the rash illness. It can start as fatigue, numbness and an increasing inability to move.

Fortunately, tick paralysis is easy to treat: simply remove the tick and the symptoms will subside with 12 to 24 hours - that is, if you remove the tick properly.

In early May, the CDC warned of rising populations of ticks and mosquitoes that public works and pest control services were wholly unprepared to address.

Which ticks can cause paralysis?

More: Should I burn a tick off? 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. Lindsay says that even people in urban areas should check their body for tick bites if they have been outside for a while.

It was removed and Evelyn, like Kailyn was walking the next day.

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