Look out for ticks, even if they’re not the type that carries Lyme disease. A mother warns the public to check for ticks and make sure that they and their family are safe. Her daughter was temporarily paralyzed after a tick bit her.
Last week, Jessica Griffin woke up in the morning and went to check on her daughter, Kailyn. The girl was unable to walk. At first, the mother thought that the legs were just asleep, but as her daughter started speaking incoherently, the mother rushed her to the hospital.
After investigating, the staff at the University Medical Centre of Mississippi saw that in the girl’s scalp there was a tick attached. Later that day, Kailyn recovered and was discharged.
Tick bites can rarely cause illness because the saliva of some species contain neurotoxins. These neurotoxins interfere with normal neuromuscular function, causing muscle exhaustion, prickling in the limbs, fatigue, and irritability. After multiple days of the tick being engorged in a person’s skin, it can cause paralysis of lower limbs and then in the entire body. It can affect the respiratory system and in the end become fatal.
Recovery is Fast. But What About Lyme?
It is a critical condition, but fortunately, it can be treated easily, stated Robbin Lindsay, who specializes in ticks and is a research scientist at Canada’s Public Health Agency:
“Once the tick is found and removed, recovery is very rapid.”
In Canada, ticks that can cause paralysis are found in Southern British Columbia and Manitoba. However, the expanding species of deer ticks is more worrying, as they spread Lyme disease. They began spreading in urban areas too, says Jim Wilson, President of Canada Lyme Disease Foundation:
“We are going to be encountering more and more cases because we are seeing more and more ticks. We have to start taking ticks more seriously.”
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere