A mother in Oregon has posted alarming footage of her daughter struggling to stand after being paralyzed by a tick.
At the time, alarmed parents Amanda and Lantz Lewis had no idea why little Evelyn had trouble standing and seemed irritable.
Concerned, they filmed the young girl trying and failing to stand independently.
With Lantz’s history of cancer, they were petrified this could be a symptom of a life-threatening disease and rushed to the emergency department.
Eventually, their doctor discovered she had a dog tick buried in her scalp hidden under her hair that had temporarily paralyzed her limbs.
Now, since the video has gone viral, Amanda is urging others to learn about the dangers and implications of tick bites – and the need to act early.
Alarmed parents Amanda and Lantz Lewis, of Oregon, had no idea why little Evelyn woke up irritable. They filmed the little girl trying and failing to support herself, to show doctors
While some tick bites can cause temporary paralysis, others can leave people with permanent bodily disorders or Lyme disease.
Posting the video publicly on May 13, Amanda thought it would only be seen by her immediate circle of friends.
She wrote that Evelyn had seemed irritable the night before. ‘She didn’t want to stand up after her bath to get into her pajamas. I helped her and got her in bed. She was a little fussy last night and I ended up sleeping in bed with her all night.’
The next day, she said, things escalated.
‘This morning she was having a hard time standing. She could barely walk, or crawl, and could hardly use her arms,’ Amanda wrote.
In the video, Evelyn looks forlorn as she tries to get to her feet, then falls.
Eventually Amanda suggests to Lantz that he offer Evelyn a hand.
He helps her to her feet, but she can’t support herself, and eventually tumbles in his arms.
Once in the emergency room, they explained all their fears to the doctor.
Before any tests, he calmly explained that he suspected a tick was involved.
‘The doctor talked to us for a minute and said over the past 15 years he had seen about 7 or 8 children her age with identical symptoms and more than likely she had a tick,’ Lewis said.
In the video, Evelyn looks forlorn as she tries to get to her feet, then falls
With Lantz’s history of cancer, they were petrified this could be a symptom of a life-threatening disease and rushed to the emergency department. Here Lantz is seen helping Evelyn up
Sure enough, he found a tick buried under her hair.
It was a dog tick, which does not typically carry Lyme disease.
Nonetheless, he said, parents should be aware of the warning signs of reactions to tick bites.
‘My husband and I are still in shock that this happened to our baby girl and I’m glad we were able to spread some awareness about this,’ Lewis said.
‘It’s not terribly common for this to happen but it’s good to be aware that if your children or pets start having weakness in their limbs to look for a tick!
‘The doctor told us that the type of tick that was found on her does not typically carry lyme disease (dog tick) but we are keeping a close eye on her anyway.’
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. Ticks are tiny arachnids found in woodland areas.
The parasites feed on the blood of humans and animals. Their bites often go unnoticed, leaving the tick to remain for several days gorging on blood, before dropping off.
The longer the tick is left in place, the higher the risk of it passing on the infection.
Lyme disease can affect a person’s skin, joints, heart and nervous system.
What are the symptoms?
The earliest and most common symptom is a pink or red circular rash around the bite site. It can develop three to 30 days after a person is bitten. The rash is described as being similar to a bull’s-eye on a dart board.
An infected person may also suffer flu-like symptoms, including tiredness, headaches and muscle or joint pain.
If left untreated, further symptoms, including muscle pain and temporary paralysis of the facial muscles, can develop months or even years later.
In its late stages the disease can trigger symptoms similar to fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Lyme disease is not contagious but is the most common tick-borne infection in Europe and North America.
It has gained more exposure in the last few years as celebrity sufferers – including Bella Hadid and Avril Lavigne – have spoken out about their condition.
Famous Lyme disease sufferers: Bella Hadid and Avril Lavigne have both revealed their disease
Most tick bites happen in late spring, early summer and the autumn – the times when people are most likely to be outside, hiking or camping.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent the disease. The best way to avoid it, is to avoid being bitten.
Experts advise people walking in woodland areas wear long-sleeved clothes, tuck trousers into socks, use insect repellent, and importanly check for ticks when they return home.
What to do if you find a tick:
If you do find a tick they can be removed by gently gripping the parasite as close to the skin as possible, preferably using fine-toothed tweezers, and pulling steadily from the skin.Never use a lit cigarette end, a match head or essential oils to force the tick out.