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5-Year-Old Mississippi Girl Temporarily Paralyzed By Tick Bite, Mom Warns Other Parents

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A 5-year-old Mississippi girl was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center after her mother discovered a tick in her head. It turned out the girl temporarily experienced tick paralysis.   ( Jerzy Górecki | Pixabay )

A 5-year-old girl faced a crisis just as she was getting ready to go to daycare. This was brought on through a tick bite.

A Tick Bite

Mississippi mom Jessica Griffin received a massive scare when she found her daughter, Kailyn on the floor of their family home on June 6. Griffin stated that Kailyn was "perfectly fine" the night before but found that she was unable to stand the next day. Initially, she brushed it off by saying that her daughter's legs were sleeping.

However, as she spent more time with her daughter, Griffin discovered some disturbing signs. Kailyn could barely talk to her mother. As she helped Kailyn with her hair, Griffin found a sight that greatly alarmed her. She found a tick embedded into her daughter's head.

A Case of Tick Paralysis

Griffin took her daughter to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Medical officials began to investigate to see what was wrong with Kailyn. Through numerous blood work and a CT scan, Kailyn's doctors diagnosed her with tick paralysis.

The American Lyme Disease Foundation states that it takes five to seven days for a person to develop tick paralysis symptoms. Tick paralysis begins after a tick becomes attached to a person's head. The disease usually starts with fatigue and muscle pains. If the tick is not removed, people could face facial and tongue paralysis.

"I honestly have never even heard of that before. Her pediatrician said that it had sucked so much overnight that it had gotten that big and released a toxin," said Griffin to ABC News.

Doctors reassured Griffin that once the tick was removed from her daughter, Kailyn would be back to her usual self. Following Kailyn's recovery, Griffin went on Facebook to share her story. She included two photos in her post, which were the tick in Kailyn's head and the removed tick in a plastic bag. Griffin pleaded to parents to check their kids more often for ticks.

Tick Stories

Memphis-based lawn care company TruGreen released a list of cities in the United States that are most affected by ticks. Through their research that ran between January and December 2017, they found that Chicago, Boise, Dayton, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Rapid City, South Dakota, and St. Louis had the most ticks in their cities. The list was based upon the cities that required the most demand for tick control and prevention services.

A new tick species was discovered in New Jersey. Longhorned ticks, which could usually be found in East Asia, was first spotted in Hunterdon County in 2017. New Jersey government officials mentioned that the Longhorned ticks made it to another county in the state. It is unknown if the tick species could transmit Lyme disease.

Tech Times reached out to both the American Lyme Disease Foundation for a comment on this story.

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