Pediatric tick paralysis: discussion of two cases and literature review

Pediatr Neurol. 2004 Oct;31(4):304-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2004.05.005.


This report describes two cases of tick paralysis in children diagnosed within a 3-month period (May-July 2002) in rural South Carolina. Differing presenting symptoms consisted of acute onset of ataxia in one patient and acute ascending paralysis in the other. Ticks were present on the scalp of both patients and were removed immediately. Both girls demonstrated improvement of signs and symptoms within hours and complete recovery within 24 hours of tick removal. The diagnosis of tick paralysis must be considered in any patient, particularly children, who present with either acute ataxia or acute ascending paralysis. As in any clinical encounter, careful history and thorough general and neurologic examinations must be performed to exclude the possibility of tick attachment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • South Carolina
  • Tick Paralysis / complications
  • Tick Paralysis / diagnosis*
  • Tick Paralysis / therapy