Symptoms onset about 4-7 days following a tick bite. Patients present with paresthesias, fatigue, and occasionally muscle pain. Tick paralysis can progress and result in an ascending paralysis with potential to compromise diaphragmatic control and respiratory drive.
Children and adults are both at risk for tick paralysis. It is slightly more common in children, perhaps due to delayed recognition of a tick bite.
Tick paralysis is typically treatable with removal of the tick. The necessity of medical intervention is largely dependent on the severity of symptoms. Mortality estimates range from approximately 6%-12% of cases.
G83.9 – Paralytic syndrome, unspecified
74225001 – Tick paralysis
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Myasthenia gravis
- Lambert-Eaton syndrome
- West Nile syndrome
- Toxic ingestion (eg, lead, organophosphates, mercury)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Transverse myelitis
- Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis
- Neuromyelitis optica
- Paralytic shellfish poisoning