Tick paralysis Symptoms in Humans

Tick paralysis Symptoms in Humans
Some tick paralysis symptoms in humans includes muscle pain, numbness or tingling in legs, exhaustion, and irritability. Tick paralysis is a disease transmitted by tick bites. It causes people, particularly kids, bitten by ticks to experience tingling, numbness, and weakness all over the body.
Tick paralysis can affect anyone, but the disease mostly affects children, particularly girls because their long hair may conceal ticks hiding behind the ear or on the scalp. Apart from Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick paralysis is another tick-borne disease that is currently becoming an issue of concern.
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When the tick fastens itself to a human to feed on blood, the poison can gain access a person’s bloodstream and failure to remove the tick in time can cause it to invade the nervous system. This attack can lead to the loss of muscle function, respiratory failure and in severe cases, death.
Tick paralysis isn’t common, but if left untreated, the disease can affect your lungs and make breathing difficult.
There are about 40 kinds of ticks that can cause tick paralysis. The symptoms depend on the specie that you were bitten by. The American dog tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick, and dermacentor ticks are most likely to cause tick paralysis.

Tick Paralysis Symptoms in Humans

Some tick paralysis symptoms in humans include:
  • Numbness or tingling in your legs.
  • Muscle pain
  • Irritability
  • Always feeling exhausted
  • For children with tick paralysis, he or she may walk in an odd way, as if drunk.
The numbness moves up your body, followed by paralysis that begins in your feet and moves upward. The paralysis can affect one side of you, it then spreads to the arms and lungs. You may also feel muscle pain, exhaustion and ill-tempered. In severe but rare cases, tick paralysis is rarely fatal, it’s an emergency if it weakens your diaphragm, making breathing difficult.
Tick paralysis symptoms in humans are very close to those of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). This condition occurs when the immune system attacks the nerves, leading to paralysis.

Causes of Tick Paralysis Symptoms in Humans

Tick paralysis is caused by a neurotoxin found in the salivary glands of some female ticks. When a tick bites a person, it hangs onto the host for several days and releases a neurotoxin through its saliva. Your nervous system is then affected by the neurotoxin.
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Diagnosis of Tick Paralysis

To diagnose tick paralysis, your doctor will look for spot(s) on your body invaded by ticks.  They may check for where a tick has recently bitten you.
Ticks can bite you anywhere, but the most common spots are on your scalp, particularly at the hairline on your neck. Ticks can also attach itself to your armpit, between fingers, toes, or around the genitals and rectum.
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If you have been to the woods of late, or if you have a dog that has been in areas susceptible to ticks you may get bitten by ticks. Dogs can bring ticks into your home and transfer it to you when you hug them.
Make sure the tick has fallen off your body completely because if the tick’s head is still on your body, it can still be releasing poison that can lead to paralysis. You will notice a red bump on the spot caused by the saliva from the bite.

Tick Paralysis Treatment

The treatment for tick paralysis is quite easy. Just ensure you get rid of the tick, including the head and parts of its mouth. Ticks can be removed using tweezers to hold the tick as close to your skin as possible so that the head and mouth parts won’t be left behind on your skin.
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Pull the tick upward, in a slow but steady motion. Avoid handling the tick with bare hands when it’s out of your body. If a person’s breathing gets affected by the tick paralysis, you may be placed on breathing machine until the symptoms ease.

Preventing Tick Paralysis

The best way to prevent tick paralysis is to avoid tick bites by following these tips.
  • Stay away from tick-laden areas such as grassy areas and woods. Stick to the middle of trails when you are hiking or exploring.
  • Wear protective clothing that covers your legs and hands.
  • Use bug-repellant sprays. Ask your pediatrician to recommend a safe alternative for your children.
  • Treat your outdoor clothes and gear with products that have the insecticide permethrin, which prevents ticks from attaching themselves to your clothing.
  • Check your body properly after every outdoor venture. Check under your arms, in and around your ears, inside the belly button, the backs of your knees, in and around your head, hair, and body hair, between your legs, and around your waist. Ensure you check your dog and kid(s) for ticks too before they enter the house after being in the woods.

Wrapping Up

Tick paralysis symptoms in humans are quite different from those of animals. Don’t hesitate to confer with your doctor immediately you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above. Tick paralysis can be fatal if ignored for long, therefore timely intervention is imperative.


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