Mom warns parents of tick dangers after daughter left paralyzed

Grant Boone
June 13, 2018

A mother of a 5-year-old from MS is now warning other parents to check their children for tick paralysis which has left her daughter temporarily paralysed due to 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.

It was unclear where or when she thought her daughter had acquired the tick, or how long it had been on her body. "After tons of blood work and a CT of the head UMMC [University of Mississippi Medical Center] has ruled it as tick paralysis!"

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

Griffin called her husband, who told her to immediately remove the tick, put it in a plastic bag, and rush Kailyn to the hospital.

Fun and laughter aside, Jessica wants her readers to be aware that tick paralysis is both real and unsafe.

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Tick paralysis is thought be caused by a toxin in tick saliva, according to the Centers for Disease and Control. Griffin, of Grenada, Mississippi, wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday that seemed a mixture of worry and relief.

Kailyn was left struggling to walk after being bitten by a tick. Scary is a UNDERSTATEMENT!

Tick paralysis is caused by a neurotoxin produced in the parasite's salivary gland. It's more common in children than it is adults! Ticks are most active from April through September, The Washington Post has reported.

Symptoms usually begin with numbness or tingling, fatigue or weakness.

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. They even washed the girl's hair when they got back to their home. We are being admitted to the hospital for observation and we're hoping her balance gets straightened out!

A 5-year-old girl faced a crisis just as she was getting ready to go to daycare. Later that evening, Kailin was able to walk out of the hospital. Symptoms usually improve with 24 hours, according to the CDC, after the tick has been completely removed.

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