With a 5-year-old daughter she said was unable to walk and talk, a MS mom urgently warned parents to check their children for ticks. Jessica Griffin said her daughter, Kailyn, woke up on June 6 and couldn't walk. "After tons of blood work and a CT of the head UMMC [University of Mississippi Medical Center] has ruled it as 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. Griffin initially thought the girl's legs were asleep, but took her to the hospital when she was unable to speak coherently.
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. Tick paralysis occurs mostly in the spring and early summer, and is reported more commonly in children, probably due to their smaller body mass. Symptoms tend to appear four to seven days after a tick bite and go away within 24 hours of removing the tick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kailyn's doctors predicted that she would be back to normal in between 12 and 24 hours, "and sure enough within that 12 hours she was back to being her silly self, running and playing", Griffin said.
Women and children are most at risk.
Unlike many other bites, tick bites don't usually hurt or itch at first. Scary is [an] UNDERSTATEMENT! Griffin pleaded to parents to check their kids more often for ticks.
Tick paralysis is caused by a neurotoxin produced in the parasite's salivary gland.
The paralysis begins in the legs, then spreads to the upper extremities.
The symptoms can occur five to seven days after the tick starts feeding.
The main treatment for tick paralysis is completely removing the tick, including all of its mouthparts, since they contain the salivary glands that produce the toxin. Lindsay says that even people in urban areas should check their body for tick bites if they have been outside for a while. We are being admitted to the hospital for observation and we're hoping her balance gets straightened out!
The little girl made a full recovery in hospital.
"Look who is walking out of the hospital!"
When the tick is removed, the paralysis goes away.