After boy becomes paralyzed, mom finds bug bite that caused it

In warmer areas, ticks are parasitic arachnids that are active all year long; in cooler climes, the tick population increases from April through September throughout the summer.

These three to five millimeter long bloodsuckers are found on animals or in grassy, brushy, or forested regions. When a tick latches onto you or your pet, you run the danger of contracting a tick-borne illness, which can result in fevers, paralysis, or, in severe cases, death.

Collin, 6, temporarily lost his motor abilities as a result of the tick that had chosen him as its host, and he was on the verge of death.

Stephanie, Collin’s mother, sensed something was amiss with her normally vivacious son one morning when he wasn’t moving as he usually would.His parents took him to emergency because they initially believed the brief paralysis was brought on by banging his head at his brother’s baseball game and they didn’t want to take any chances with their child.

With no ability to drink or eat on his own and only being able to breathe, Collin’s odd state was swiftly deteriorating. Collin’s oxygen levels began to decline at the hospital as doctors worked to identify the cause of his paralysis.

As a result, the kid had to be transferred to a different facility that had the resources to handle his deteriorating condition.Doctors discovered a tick gripping its legs into the skin behind his ear as the culprit at that point. The young youngster would have suffered a heart collapse if it had taken even an additional 30 minutes.

Collin quickly returned to his playful, active self after they got rid of the parasite.The annoying parasites are welcoming a new supply of blood from people and animals as the summer season gets underway in many states and across Canada.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that over a 13-year period, from 2004 to 2016, cases of diseases like Zika, West Nile, and Lyme disease that are transmitted by tick, mosquito, and flea bites tripled. In the 2018 paper, the CDC also notes the discovery or introduction of nine new pathogens that are transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks in the United States.

The study says, “The data shows that we’re seeing a steady increase and spread of tickborne diseases, and an accelerating trend of mosquito-borne diseases introduced from other parts of the world.” 

Despite the fact that tick bites are rather common, suffering paralysis like Collin did is extremely rare, according to research.

However, it is still advisable to practice prevention and be aware of any potential health effects brought on by parasite bites, such as those from ticks or mosquitoes.

People who contract Zika, which is spread by infected mosquitoes, often have fever, rashes, headaches, joint discomfort, conjunctivitis, and muscle soreness. Additionally, Zika can be sexually transmitted, and if a Zika-positive woman becomes pregnant, there is a chance that the baby will be born with a birth defect.

Only 20% of people develop West Nile symptoms, which are also brought on by the bite of an infected mosquito, but they might include headaches, body pains, joint pain, rashes, vomiting, and diarrhea. Anyone can get sick, but those with immunodeficiency diseases are more likely to do so.

The bite of an infected tick causes the development of Lyme disease, which has received a lot of attention in recent years.About 476,000 Americans are diagnosed with and treated for Lyme disease each year, according to the CDC, and the rash may also be accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as chills, fever, body pains, and exhaustion.

A rash that has a bulls-eye pattern and occasionally spreads beyond the location of the initial bite is one of the symptoms of Lyme disease, according to Dr. Travis Stork, the host of the defunct TV program The Doctors.

Urging people with symptoms to immediately see a healthcare provider, he said, “they can discuss your symptoms with you and order additional testing to ensure you are correctly diagnosed.”

The CDC cautions that if left untreated, the illness may spread to the heart, brain system, and joints.

Actor Alec Baldwin, who was infected with Lyme disease more than 20 years ago, said, “I got the classic Lyme disease (symptoms) for each successive summer, for five years, every August, like this black lung, flu-like symptoms, sweating to death in my bed,” Baldwin said. “And I really thought this is it, I’m not going to live.”

Though some have laughed at the thought of an illness transmitted by ticks, Lyme disease can be dangerous.

After Justin Bieber stated on Instagram in 2020 that he has Lyme illness, Hailey Bieber, the daughter of Stephen Baldwin, Alec Baldwin’s brother, defended her spouse: “For those who are trying to downplay the severity of Lyme disease, please do your research and listen to the stories of people who have suffered with it for years,” she wrote, addressing judgemental fans. “Making fun of and belittling a disease you don’t understand is never the way, all it takes is educating yourself.”

In her Netflix documentary, Not Just a Girl, Shania Canadian country music star Twain explains her life with Lyme disease, that she’s had since 2003, “…I was on stage very dizzy, I was losing my balance, I was afraid I was going to fall off the stage…I was having these very, very millisecond blackouts, but regularly–every minute or every 30 seconds.”

Prevention, Dr. Stork says, is the most effective way to avoid a bite. “The best way you can protect yourself from any of these diseases is to avoid areas where they thrive,” Dr. Stork said in an interview. “Lyme disease-carrying ticks are most prevalent in the wooded areas, tall grass and lawns and gardens that we tend to play, hike and relax in during summer months, so people really have to be proactive in protecting themselves.”

When bringing your pets inside, make sure to properly inspect them for clinging ticks. Dogs may also get the lameness and stiffness associated with Lyme disease.

These illustrations, beginning with young Collin, should serve as a reminder of how crucial it is to lower your chance of contracting diseases carried by ticks or mosquitoes.

Avoid tall grass whenever you can, and constantly check yourself and your dogs for ticks after being outside. If you’re outside in the evening, cover up with long sleeves and pants and use insect repellent with DEET as mosquitoes are primarily found in locations with standing water and their activity peaks at twilight.