He was bitten by a tick and contracted a rare disease that nearly killed him: ‘It was horrible’

He was bitten by a tick and contracted a rare disease that nearly killed him: ‘It was horrible’

An American boy just three years old contracted a serious illness from a tick bite, the same illness his doctor initially minimized by reassuring him it was a harmless virus. However, his mother decided to take him to the emergency room and found out it was something fatal.

The nightmare of Jamie Simoson, the child’s mother, began when she noticed a small spot on her son’s back on June 15 after leaving a neighbor’s pool: it was a tick.

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“It wasn’t embedded. It wasn’t swollen. I just pulled it out with tweezers and it was alive,” Simoson said. “He didn’t necessarily have marks on his back shoulder until a few days later; It was just a little red bump. That was it.”

About two weeks later, the day care center called and said that the child was not doing well.

“He was depressed, had no appetite, and the fact that he was complaining of a headache was not normal for a three-year-old,” Simoson said. His symptoms worsened over the next two days. After a visit to the pediatrician, Johnny was sent home with some supportive medication. During the night he woke up with a fever.

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Again, the mother took her son to the pediatrician, but he again told her to wait. She ignored him and took him to the emergency room when his fever rose to over 100 degrees.

His white blood cell count rose to 30,000 and he was very sleepy. After a spinal tap, doctors discovered that he had an increase in neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that acts as the immune system’s first response, in the umbilical cord fluid.

At first he was diagnosed with bacterial and viral meningitis, but after a few days doctors ruled it out. There, the child was transferred to another, more complex health center, where he spent four days in intensive care.

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“At that point it got really scary, he wasn’t speaking. It was very frustrating trying to find an answer. We were very afraid that we would not be able to return home to our son. It was horrifying,” Simoson said.

The little boy spent two weeks in different hospitals after being bitten by a tick. Photo: Clarin

However, after an MRI, neurologists were able to diagnose meningoencephalitis, an infection of both the brain and the thin tissue that surrounds it. There were positive results after a night of intravenous immunoglobulin, a treatment for patients with antibody deficiency.

“Within 15 hours of her first dose, she was like, ‘Mom, is that pepperoni pizza?'” the woman recalled. It was actually just a box of tissues, but that meant the little guy was hungry. A great sign. “So we started asking him questions to try to gauge his cognitive abilities at that point,” Simoson said.

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After five days without speaking, her son began interacting with people. “It was incredible. It was the first time since the whole situation started that my husband and I have completely broken down,” the woman said.

His parents had to teach him to eat and drink again, as well as to sit up and speak clearly. “We knew it was going to be difficult to get home,” Simoson said. After 12 days the child was discharged.

After his release, the boy is at home, where he began a long rehabilitation. Photo: Clarin

Three days later, doctors contacted the family to inform them that Johnny had tested positive for Powassan virus, a rare and dangerous tick-borne disease. Finally the riddle was solved.

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From his Facebook page, Simoson has warned other people to prevent tick bites and defend their children. “Don’t feel like you’re questioning anyone. this is your job And we want everyone to be aware of what can happen if we don’t act quickly.”