Can a tick really paralyze a person?


A 5-year-old Mississippi girl was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center after her mother discovered a tick in her head.

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.

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Griffin said she immediately took Kailyn to an emergency room, where doctors ran blood tests and performed a CT scan to confirm the diagnosis of tick paralysis.

"PLEASE for the love of god check your kids for ticks!" she wrote.

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Tick paralysis is a very rare illness caused by neurotoxins found in certain species' saliva.

Mom at first thought that maybe Kailyn had slept in an awkward position and her legs had gone numb, according to a Facebook post.

She pulled the tick out and placed it in a plastic bag, then rushed to the hospital with Kailyn, WTXL reported. Scary is [an] UNDERSTATEMENT!

Women and children are most at risk. Paralysis sets in slowly, starting in the legs and spreading into upper body, stopping your breathing if left unchecked. This condition caused the toxin found in the study.

Symptoms do not start right away, but typically start to appear after the tick has been feeding on the person or animal for four to seven days.

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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. "We are being admitted to the hospital for observation and we're hoping her balance gets straightened out!" she wrote.

And last year, Amanda Lewis woke up and found that her 3-year-old daughter, Evelyn, couldn't stand no matter how hard the little girl tried, according to the La Grande Observer.

It was removed and Evelyn, like Kailyn was walking the next day. The condition can become life-threatening if the tick is not removed quickly, with the potential for paralysis to affect respiratory muscles.

"Look who is walking out of the hospital!"

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