WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Kailyn Griffin, a 5-year-old girl from Mississippi suffered from temporary paralysis after a tick bite.
- Doctors told her mother that the girl had contracted tick paralysis, a rare condition caused by a toxin in a tick’s saliva.
- Tick paralysis, sometimes confused with other neurologic disorders, causes intense paralysis that usually starts in the lower extremities then works its way up.
Tick season is here again, peaking from April through September, and the number of tickborne illnesses that has been reported more than doubled since 2004.
On June 6, one mother shared on Facebook that her 5-year-old daughter Kailyn woke up that day, unable to walk.
“I was just thinking that her legs were asleep,” Jessica Griffin wrote.
Jessica noticed something was wrong when she was brushing Kailyn’s hair.
“I went to brush her hair to put it in a ponytail and noticed she could barely talk,” Jessica told ABC News. “When I pulled her hair back that’s when I [saw] the tick.”
Jessica took her daughter to the UMMC where she had “tons of blood work” and a CT scan. The doctors said that the little girl is suffering from tick paralysis.
“PLEASE for the love of God check your kids for ticks!” Jessica wrote on Facebook warning other parents.
Later that day, Jessica shared an update about Kailyn’s condition.
“Look who is WALKING out of the hospital!! Everything is completely back to normal! GOD IS GOOD!! Thanks to everyone for the prayers!” sharing a photo of her daughter carrying balloons.
Kailyn’s case is not the first tick paralysis that’s been reported. In 2017, a mother from Oregon posted a now-viral video of her 3-year-old daughter struggling to walk following a tick bite, CBS News reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it can be confused with other neurologic disorders. The paralysis typically goes away within 24 hours after removing the tick.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert and senior scholar at the John’s Hopkin’s Center for Health Security, says that tick paralysis tends to affect children more than adults.
Adalja’s reasoning is that “children are less likely to notice a bite, or that their bodies are smaller, which means they deal with a higher dose of the toxin that causes this paralysis.”
Source: Women’s Health