Mother warns of tick dangers after daughter paralyzed - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Mother warns of tick dangers after daughter paralyzed

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WSIL -- A mom in Mississippi says she got the scare of her life when her young daughter temporarily lost the ability to walk after getting bitten by a tick.

Jessica Griffin said her 5-year-old daughter, Kailyn, suddenly lost the ability to walk and talk last Wednesday after contracting tick paralysis from a bite to her scalp.

Griffin said Kailyn was "perfectly fine" the night before, but things took a "scary" turn on June 6 when she woke her up for school.

"She woke up yesterday morning to get ready to go to daycare and as soon as her feet hit the floor she fell," Griffin told ABC News on Sunday. "She would try to stand and walk but would continue to fall so I thought her legs were just asleep.

Griffin says when she was brushing her daughter's hair, she noticed the tick on her scalp and immediately took Kailyn to an emergency room, where doctors ran blood tests and performed a CT scan to confirm the diagnosis of tick paralysis.

The condition is thought to be caused by a toxin found in tick saliva, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which says symptoms usually subside about 24 hours after removing the tick.

"I honestly have never even heard of that before," Griffin said. "Her pediatrician said it had sucked so much over the night that it had gotten that big and released a toxin."

Kailyn's doctors predicted that she would be back to normal in between 12 and 24 hours, "and sure enough within that 12 hours she was back to being her silly self, running and playing," Griffin said.

Now, Griffin says she working to spread awareness about the common, but unassuming condition.

As you can see below, she posted images to Facebook last week, showing Kailyn in her hospital bed with a splint and an IV connected to her arm. She also wrote a lengthy warning to parents, urging them to check their children for ticks.
 

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