5-Year-Old Girl Paralyzed by Tick

June 13, 2018   ·   0 Comments

June 12, 2018 — A Mississippi mother is warning parents to be on alert after her 5-year-old daughter, Kailyn, was temporarily paralyzed from a tick bite.

After waking her daughter to get ready for daycare, Jessica Griffin noticed that Kailyn struggled to stand on her own and was slurring her speech, according to news reports. As Griffin began to brush Kailyn’s hair, she noticed something alarming.

A tick had embedded itself on her daughter’s scalp.

Griffin called her husband, who told her to immediately remove the tick, put it in a plastic bag, and rush Kailyn to the hospital.

Kailyn had a CT scan and bloodwork at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where doctors diagnosed her with tick paralysis, The Washington Post reported.

According to the CDC, a nerve toxin found in a pregnant female tick’s saliva is believed to cause tick paralysis. Symptoms usually begin to show about 4 to 7 days after the tick starts feeding. Paralysis sets in slowly, starting in the legs and spreading into upper body, stopping your breathing if left unchecked.


The Washington Post: “A 5-year-old girl’s sudden paralysis was a mystery. Then her mother checked her scalp.”

MS News Now: “5-year-old girl temporarily paralyzed after tick bite.”

Facebook: Jessica Griffin, June 6, 2018.

CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): “Tick Paralysis — Washington, 1995.”

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