A MS mother took to Facebook to share a photo of her 5-year-old daughter walking out of the hospital following a harrowing ordeal involving a tick bite.
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.
The La Grande, Oregon, woman posted a video on Facebook, hoping family members or friends could help figure out what was causing the girl's sudden unusual ailment.
"She woke up to get ready to go to daycare and as soon as her feet hit the floor, she fell", Ms Griffin told MS News. Girls often have longer hair than boys, which ticks can attach to and hide in, increasing the risk of tick paralysis, the report said.
At the hospital, the doctors did blood tests and performed a CT scan to confirm that Kailyn did, in fact, have tick paralysis. Griffin initially thought the girl's legs were asleep, but took her to the hospital when she was unable to speak coherently.
Griffin took her daughter to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She included two photos in her post, which were the tick in Kailyn's head and the removed tick in a plastic bag. "It's more common in children than it is adults", she wrote last Wednesday. "We are being admitted to the hospital for observation and we're hoping her balance gets straightened out!" she wrote.
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Unlike many other bites, tick bites don't usually hurt or itch at first. Then, she saw a tick on her head. Paralysis sets in slowly, starting in the legs and spreading into upper body, stopping your breathing if left unchecked.
In the later stages it is harder for the victim to move her face or tongue.
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. If nothing is done, the toxin ultimately makes it impossible for a person to breathe, resulting in respiratory failure.
In Canada, tick species that can cause paralysis are found mostly in Southern British Columbia and Manitoba, but other species, like known Lyme-disease carriers blacklegged ticks, are aggressively expanding into new territory, even urban areas.
Still, Griffin felt alarmed enough to post the warning.