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Saturday, May 31, 2014


Last week my neighbor’s six-year-old granddaughter complained about not feeling well and said she didn’t want to go to school. (That was a red flag because she loves kindergarten.) Her symptoms escalated until she was hospitalized with paralysis and had difficulty breathing. The medical team was perplexed until someone noticed a tick on her scalp. It was like a miracle because after removing the tick she rapidly improved and within 24 hours was a normal, happy little girl again.

This is what the New England Journal of Medicine reports about this syndrome:
“Tick paralysis is a neurological syndrome that is frequently confused with other acute disorders. In this syndrome, ascending paralysis is caused by a potent neurotoxin produced by an attached engorged tick. Removal of the tick leads to prompt recovery…detection is possible with nothing more than a fine-toothed comb…intervention with the use of another common item – tweezers – resulted in rapid recovery.”

Have you ever heard of such a thing? I certainly hadn’t, but if you are reading this, you just might save a child’s life this summer.

How could anything this tiny cause so much trouble?