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Mom Horrified When her 3-Year-Old Became Paralyzed After Tick Bite

A very healthy, normal three-year-old girl from Oregon was getting ready for bed one evening when all of a sudden, things took a turn for the worse. Her parents were bathing her and said they noticed she was getting fussy, but they were shocked when their daughter couldn't even stand up.

They rushed her to the hospital and found out that the cause of their toddler's paralysis was a tick. Now, they're warning everyone.

Amanda Lewis of La Grande said that she had the fright of her life when her daughter, Evelyn, couldn't find the strength to stand up one night. The paralysis came on so suddenly and the family was terrified. Lewis recounted the harrowing experience on Facebook.

Amanda and her husband, Lantz, called family members who were nurses for advice. They couldn't help but think of the worst case scenario.

"I was in the Navy, and they found a rare brain tumor typically found in children. I couldn't run straight, and I felt dizzy, so our minds starting going to that," the father revealed in an interview with CNN.

When the family got to the hospital, doctors said they had seen the symptoms before in children about Evelyn's age. Over the past 15 years, about a dozen children had come in with the same symptoms, and the cause had been a tick bite.

Amanda and Lantz were startled and said they weren't aware of their daughter being bitten by a tick. The doctor started to search for one on Evelyn's body.

"He combed one side of her head and then started combing the back and found the tick," Lantz said. "He left, got some gloves and a pair of tweezers and pulled it off."

He found a dog tick, a tick that carries bacteria for different diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. They also are known for causing a condition known as tick paralysis. The paralysis is caused by a neurotoxin found in the tick's saliva.

The toxin mixes into the blood stream of the host when the tick bites.

Tick paralysis is a serious condition. Gone untreated it can cause severe respiratory distress.

According to Goudarz Molaei, a researcher at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the number of ticks has been increasing due to warm winters. Insects are better able to survive mild winter conditions, and the long winters lead to longer, warmer springs and summers. This can bring on a population boom.

Molaei expects the number of diseases associated with them, such as Lyme disease, to increase. "This year so far, we've received hundreds of ticks," he said. "Since April 1, we've received nearly 1,000 ticks."

Thankfully, Evelyn's tick was caught in time. By the next day, she was getting back to normal. She complained that her tick bite location itched, but otherwise was fine.

"She is now pretty much completely back to her feisty little self," Amanda wrote on Facebook.

A video of their daughter suffering from the tick bite has gone viral, taking the parents aback. "We had no intention of making it public. The doctor said this could be a bad tick year, and the video can help show the symptoms parents should look for," said Lantz.

Source: CNN
Photos: ABC 11 Screenshots, Pixabay

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