Mississippi Girl Temporarily Paralyzed After Being Bit By Tick

The girl’s mother is sharing their story as a warning to others.

Getty Images

A Mississippi woman wants everyone to know the danger of ticks after a recent and traumatizing incident with her own daughter.

According to the Chicago Tribune, five-year-old Kailyn Griffin woke up last Wednesday morning, not feeling like herself. Every time Griffin tried to stand, she would collapse to the ground. Her mother also noticed that the youngster was struggling to speak, but what was bizarre was the fact that Kailyn seemed just fine the night before, going to a t-ball game and having a good time with her family.

When Kailyn’s mother, Jessica Griffin, went to put her daughter’s hair up in a ponytail, she immediately found the problem — a tick sticking to her daughter’s scalp. Griffin immediately pulled the tick out of her daughter’s head, put it in a plastic bag, and brought both to the hospital.

When she arrived at the hospital, CTV News shares that the University Medical Centre of Mississippi found that Kailyn was suffering from an uncommon condition called tick paralysis, which is apparently caused by neurotoxins found in certain species’ saliva.

“It interferes with normal neuromuscular function, causing irritability, fatigue, muscle exhaustion and prickling sensations in the limbs. After the tick has been engorged for multiple days, paralysis usually starts in the lower limbs and works its way up the body, eventually affecting the respiratory system where it can become fatal.”

null

But even though the sickness is so serious, it can be immediately alleviated following the removal of the tick. As soon as the tick is removed, the recovery is “very rapid,” as was the case with Kailyn. And since the scary ordeal, Jessica is going out of her way to warn other parents about what happened to her daughter so perhaps they can prevent the same thing happening to their own children.

“After tons of blood work and a CT of the head UMMC has ruled it as tick paralysis! PLEASE for the love of god check your kids for ticks! It’s more common in children than it is adults! We are being admitted to the hospital for observation and we’re hoping her balance gets straightened out! Prayers for this baby! Scary is a UNDERSTATEMENT! She has been such a champ throughout this whole ordeal!”

According to the American Lyme disease Foundation, symptoms of paralysis can begin anywhere from five to seven days after the tick begins feeding on the host’s blood. In most cases, paralysis starts in the legs before making its way to upper extremities. It also causes fatigue and numbness and in later stages, it’s hard for the victim to move their face or tongue.

It’s also worth noting that ticks can also latch on to your pets, so be sure to take caution, especially in the summer months!