An Oregon couple experienced a pretty terrifying moment earlier this month when their 3-year-old daughter temporarily lost the ability to stand, due to tick paralysis. Amanda Lewis noticed that her daughter Evelyn was acting oddly one night before bedtime. She didn't want to stand up to put on her pajamas and was crankier than usual. By the next morning, the problem got even worse. Evelyn could barely stand up, walk, crawl, or even lift up her arms. Amanda took to Facebook to share this video of her daughter to see if any of her Facebook friends could help figure out what was going on, and quickly after she made the wise decision to head to the emergency room.
Luckily, the doctor has seen similar cases before, less than 10 in over 15 years. He started his exam by combing through Evenlyn's hair and sure enough found a feeding tick hidden on her head.
"I feel awful for not having seen the little bugger sooner but I never would have even thought to look for a tick," Amanda wrote afterward. "It's crazy that a little bug can do this!"
Tick paralysis, while rare, mostly affects children under the age of 10. The condition occurs when when an egg-laden female bites a human host and transmits a neurotoxin in its saliva. Symptoms such as fatigue, numbness, and muscle pain can take up to a week to appear, and paralysis usually starts in the extremities before affecting the face and tongue. If untreated, tick paralysis can be fatal, but luckily the cure is as simple as removing the tick and patients should be able to recover shortly afterwards.
"Evelyn is doing much better," Amanda wrote on Facebook. "She is now pretty much completely back to her feisty little self." The mom posted the video as a warning to other parents, and it soon off, racking up over 500,000 shares in less than two weeks.
The Lewis family's terrifying brush with a tick will hopefully remind other moms and dads across the country to be extra vigilant about the bug spray and protecting their kids from bites this summer!