15 April, 2023
Sudden illness prompts tick warning
A RAVENSHOE man is urging locals to give themselves a once over for ticks after being diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy from what he believes was a paralysis tick bite.
Bell’s Palsy is a reaction to a viral infection that has similar characteristics to a stroke, including muscle weakness, drooping on one side of the face, and pain.
Paolo Fanali was told by doctors they weren’t sure what may have triggered the condition but he is almost 100 per cent it was caused after he scratched off a tick on his neck whilst asleep.
He now has to wear an eyepatch over one eye because he cannot blink and will have to spend up to six months to recover from the disease.
“I want to make people aware about ticks and make sure they are treating their dogs because ticks can jump from dog to human,” Mr Fanali said.
“I think that is what happened in my case because I was walking with my dog as I do every day in the bush.
“It makes sense to me that it is the tick bite because my nerves have been contaminated on the area that the tick was. I can’t lift my left eyebrow, I can’t close my eye properly, my lips don’t work properly on my left side.”
Mr Fanali expressed his concern that he was not tested for Lyme disease and says the common disease caused by ticks bites is “not recognised” in Australia.
A Federal Government website states that scientists are yet to find the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria (which causes Lyme disease) in Australian ticks, but testing is available via GP referral.