WELLNESS & FITNESS

"She Was Really Dizzy": 5-Year-Old Girl Couldn't Move Or Breathe Properly Due To Rare Case Of Tick Paralysis

Date August 21, 2019 10:18

One major nightmare for any parent is to see their child's health rapidly deteriorating and have no idea what's going on.

Tick Paralysis

Children who play in the outdoors may end up with ticks on certain parts of their body. But a situation of tick paralysis is quite rare.

"She Was Really Dizzy": 5-Year-Old Girl Couldn't Move Or Breathe Properly Due To Rare Case Of Tick Paralysis"She Was Really Dizzy": 5-Year-Old Girl Couldn't Move Or Breathe Properly Due To Rare Case Of Tick Paralysisnechaevkon / Shutterstock.com

This illness is caused by the neurotoxins in the tick's salivary gland. After attaching itself for a while, the engorged tick ends up transmitting the toxins to its host.

Saved just in time

A 5-year-old girl in Ohio had to be rushed to the hospital when her mother noticed she was having trouble breathing and moving.

Averey Mell's family said she seemed fine one day then out of nowhere, she started having difficulty maintaining her balance. Avery's mother, Sami, said she initially thought her daughter had vertigo.

But it soon became clear that things weren't that simple. Averey told Fox19Now;

I fell face first into the bathroom.

When her condition became worse, she was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital where she was placed on a ventilator.

Specialists were flummoxed as they tried to figure out what was going on with the girl. Averey's grandfather, Dave Goslin said;

The infectious disease doctor of 30 years said, he’s never seen nothing like it.

While at the hospital, Sami noticed and removed a tick in her child's hair. The mom kept on searching and found another tick at the back of Averey's head.

It was these hidden ticks that helped doctors diagnose Averey with tick paralysis. When the creatures were removed, the little girl's health quickly improved.

Sami advised parents to always check their children for ticks, especially when they play outside.

How to prevent tick paralysis

According to WebMD, the best ways to prevent tick paralysis is to prevent tick bites. The following suggestions are offered;

  • Adults and children should avoid spending time in tick-heavy areas like woods and grassy areas.
  • Do full-body checks after any outdoor adventure.
  • Use bug sprays that work against ticks. They should contain such components as DEET, IR3535, picaridin, eucalyptus or oil of lemon.
  • To prevent ticks from attaching themselves to your clothes, you can treat your stuff with insecticide permethrin which deters these insects.

"She Was Really Dizzy": 5-Year-Old Girl Couldn't Move Or Breathe Properly Due To Rare Case Of Tick Paralysis"She Was Really Dizzy": 5-Year-Old Girl Couldn't Move Or Breathe Properly Due To Rare Case Of Tick ParalysisJarabogu / Shutterstock.com

Being careful and cautious, especially when it comes to kids, is the best way to prevent any tick-related problems.


This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.