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First Aid & Emergencies

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Tick Bites: Signs of Tick Paralysis - Topic Overview

The inability to move a part of your body (paralysis) as a result of a tick bite is a rare problem. Tick paralysis can be caused by several different types of ticks in North America. The symptoms of tick paralysis are caused by the venom secreted from the female tick during feeding.

Symptoms usually start 4 to 7 days after a tick attaches to your body. Symptoms of tick paralysis include:

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  • Tingling, numbness, or loss of feeling or movement that starts in your hands or feet.
  • Trouble swallowing or talking.
  • Double vision.
  • Loss of movement in your face.

If the tick bite is on the head, symptoms of tick paralysis may include:

  • Facial paralysis.
  • Double vision.
  • Difficulty swallowing or talking.

Most cases occur in children. When these symptoms develop, contact your doctor immediately to arrange for care. Removing the tick may be all that is needed to stop the release of the venom and control the symptoms.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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