A case of tick paralysis in a 4-year-old little girl was captured on video and it has gone viral today. The video of the little girl suffering from tick paralysis was featured on a few of the morning news shows Monday morning. It is acting as a warning to all parents about the harm a tiny tick can cause you, your family, and your pets. While this child lives in Oregon, the American Lyme Disease Foundation reports that this could happen in any state, as the ticks that cause tick paralysis are found in all the U.S. states today.
Parents of a healthy little girl were horrified to see their daughter struggling to stand, this is their same little girl who was running and playing just hours before. Little Evelyn Lewis was suffering from paralysis, but how could this come on so sudden?
Amanda Lewis gave her daughter Evelyn a bath on May 14, and for some unknown reason, she became fussy and refused to stand up, her mom reports. Amanda and Lance Lewis are the parents of Evelyn, and the family lives in Oregon. This mother and father were seeing something happening to their daughter that is becoming more prevalent today, and it is caused by a tick.
The next day, the parents noticed it was more than a just a refusal to stand up coming from Evelyn – their little girl was having trouble moving her legs, reports the local ABC News. When she tried to stand, her legs appeared as if they could not support her weight, it was like her legs were almost paralyzed.
As you can see in the video below, each time Evelyn attempted to stand up, her legs would buckle under her. This wasn’t something that Evelyn herself was doing, her legs and arms appear to just go limp.
It was at this point when Evelyn’s father took a video of her behavior to show to family members asking them if they had any idea what was wrong with Evelyn. She was getting worse, she couldn’t walk and she could barely crawl. This paralysis was spreading as she was having a hard time moving her arms.
After they took the video, the parents took Evelyn to the ER. It didn’t take long for the Lewis family to get a diagnosis. Luckily, the doctor at the ER had seen this several times before in his years of practicing medicine.
The doctor set the hunt in motion for the medical staff to search Evelyn to find a tick. Over the years, this doctor had seen about seven or eight identical cases that had come into the emergency room with the same symptoms that Evelyn was presenting that morning.
There was a tick, just as the doctor predicted. The tick was found in Evelyn’s hair. What Evelyn had is called tick paralysis, it is temporary as long as it is treated. This is caused by a tick, a tiny blood-sucking parasite. This condition can be fatal if untreated, and it affects dogs as well as humans. The doctor removed the tick and Evelyn started to improve fairly quickly, according to local NBC News.
Lantz Lewis, Evelyn’s father said the following.
“I’m glad we took her in when we did and that it wasn’t something worse and that we found it before it got worse. I feel awful for not having seen the little bugger sooner but I never would have even thought to look for a tick. It’s crazy that a little bug can do this!”
Fox & Friends live on Monday morning showed the video of Evelyn’s tick paralysis that the Lewis family had posted to their Facebook page. The parents posted the video in hopes it might help others when seeing this condition in a loved one to know what they are facing. According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation (ALDF) website, there are 40 different types of ticks worldwide that can cause tick paralysis.
In North America, there are five different types of ticks that can cause tick paralysis and they are widespread throughout the country, so the potential of contracting tick paralysis exists in all U.S. states, according to ALDF. The tick usually attaches to the scalp in cases of tick paralysis, but it can attach anywhere on the body.
The symptoms start to emerge once the tick has been attached five to seven days. Fatigue sets in, followed by numbness of the legs and muscle pains. Then it progressively gets worse.
According to ALDF, “Paralysis rapidly develops from the lower to the upper extremities and, if the tick is not removed, is followed by tongue and facial paralysis. The most severe complications may include convulsions, respiratory failure and, in up to 12 percent of untreated cases, death.”
It is expected to be one of the worse years for ticks due to the weather pattern. Carefully inspecting your children, yourself, and your pets for ticks after they’ve spent time outdoors is recommended. Even if you and your kids haven’t been outside, if your dog has, they can bring the ticks insides. The ticks can brush off your pet and onto your family members while in the house.
Prevention is your best mode of protection from the tick, which also causes Lyme Disease. One household tool that has shown to work well at capturing ticks that are on your dog when coming in from the outside is a sticky tape lint brush. This is the type of lint brush that is a cylinder of wide tape that you rip off and throw away once running it over your clothes.
This lint brush is especially helpful for getting the ticks off dogs before they have time to attach themselves to the dog’s body. You can see below just how well this works in an area that is prone to ticks. The River’s Edge Veterinary Hospital has shared this post to show dog owners just how helpful this lint brush is in the battle of ridding ticks off your pets.
[Featured Image by Victoria Arocho/AP Images]