Health Canada issued a warning recently about the increased risk of illness and Lyme disease from tick bites this summer. The tick population has exploded over the last couple of summers across Ontario, leaving Canadians vulnerable. Ticks carrying Lyme disease are shockingly common and can cause dozens of long-term health problems.
As if an official warning from Health Canada wasn't enough of a scare, what happened to this five-year-old girl will make you absolutely terrified of ticks. A woman named Jessica Griffin posted on Facebook last week that her daughter was left temporarily paralyzed after being bit.
"We had a bit of a scare this morning! Kailyn woke up and couldn’t walk! I was just thinking that her legs were asleep until I noticed that she couldn’t hardly talk," Jessica wrote. After multiple medical tests, doctors discovered that she was suffering from tick paralysis.
Jessica also posted shocking photos of the tick, which landed on her daughter's head and was there for several days before she had any symptoms. According to health experts, tick paralysis is caused by toxic saliva released from certain ticks when they latch onto someone's head or neck.
Thankfully, doctors immediately extracted the tick and five-year-old Kailyn walked out of the hospital with her mom later that day.
The incident happened in Mississippi - but, according to Statistics Canada, Ontario has the highest number of confirmed Lyme disease cases from tick bites in all of Canada. They're also on the rise across the country, with 997 reported cases last year alone.
Below is a graph which shows the confirmed Lyme disease cases in each province two summers ago.
Luckily, there are many precautions you can take against tick bites, from the clothes you wear to simple self-checks every time you come back from the outdoors. You can find them on the Government of Canada's website.