Mother of a 5-year-old warns about tick paralysis


"I was just thinking that her legs were asleep until I noticed that she couldn't hardly talk!" her mother Jessica Griffin wrote on Facebook. "She has been such a champ throughout this whole ordeal!", wrote Griffin.

Women and children are most at risk. "And girls with longer hair, maybe, make it harder to locate and promptly remove those ticks".

To prevent tick bites, experts urge anyone spending time in wooded or grassy areas to wear insect repellant, socks, hats, long trousers, and long sleeves.

Griffin said that her daughter was admitted to hospital as they conducted tests.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight tick paralysis as a rare disease caused by a toxin in the saliva of ticks, particularly the Rocky Mountain wood tick and the American dog tick, typically found in the Rocky Mountain states and the northeast USA, respectively.

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She said that her daughter went to bed "perfectly fine" the night before, but last Wednesday when she woke her up for daycare things took a "scary turn".

"Fortunately, it is relatively rare", said Robbin Lindsay, a research scientist at the Public Health Agency of Canada who specializes in ticks. Paralysis sets in slowly, starting in the legs and spreading into upper body, stopping your breathing if left unchecked. Most diagnosed patients recover within 24 hours, and there are typically no long-term problems afterward. This condition caused the toxin found in the study. Some cases in livestock have been caused by the American dog tick, found east of Saskatchewan. It was unclear what type of tick bit her daughter.

Several other diseases are associated with ticks, the most well-known include Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Wearing protective clothing treated with insect repellent, particularly Permethrin, was shown to protect against tick bites.

"I went to brush her hair to put it in a ponytail and noticed she could barely talk and when I pulled her hair back that's when I seen the tick", she added. "Doing thorough and complete tick checks is the way to prevent this infection", Lindsay said.

Griffin urged parents to check their kids for ticks. She included two photos in her post, which were the tick in Kailyn's head and the removed tick in a plastic bag.