Fatal involvement of the central nervous system due to the bite of a tick has long been recognized. However, a reminder at this time of the existence of the disease entity and its manifestations might be valuable.
Briefly, the history goes back to 1824, when Howell in Australia described "a small insect that buried itself into the flesh and caused the destruction of man or beast if not removed in time." In 1843 Backhouse described a tick that destroyed cattle and sheep after paralysis of the hindquarters had occurred. Bancroft, in 1844, described weakness of cats and dogs occurring two to three days after the attachment of ticks. Death followed unless the tick was removed. In 1904 Mally, in South Africa Cape Colony, reported paralysis of sheep following tick bites. Removal of the tick cured the sheep within a few hours. Temple and Todd, in 1912, described several human cases
Alexander RM. TICK PARALYSIS: REPORT OF A CASE IN FLORIDA. JAMA. 1952;149(10):931–932. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.72930270005008b
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