WHEELING, WV (WTRF/WOWK) — A young girl in West Virginia recently woke up unable to move her legs or get out of bed because of a potentially-deadly tick bite, doctors said.
The girl’s mother rushed her to a nearby emergency room, where doctors were able to quickly diagnose the issue.
“Her mom actually worked as a veterinary tech and told us that she had seen similar things in animals,” said EMSTAR emergency medical resident, Stephanie Thomas.
Still, the situation was concerning because the mom checked her daughter over and couldn’t find the tick. It turned out to be hiding under her long hair.
“One of the things that we try to do, is examine our patients very thoroughly and the girl has a nice, pretty long, ponytail,” Thomas said. “We actually take the ponytail out and we’re looking through her hair and we find a nice big tick at the base of her ponytail.”
Tick paralysis is most commonly seen in young girls, and the ticks are found at the transition from hair to the neck.
If not caught in time it could lead to respiratory failure. In extreme cases, it can lead to death.
“Always checking your kids after you’re walking in long grass, you know, especially in wooded areas and especially in this area, you know, we have so many woods, kids are outside playing. Be sure you’re checking them before they’re getting into the shower or the bath, armpits, groins, all of that,” Thomas said.