Mom warns of scary sickness after mosquito bite gives her son seizures, brain swelling
A North Carolina mom is pleading with parents to use bug spray after a mosquito bite landed her son in the hospital with seizures and brain swelling.
LoriAnne Surrett’s 6-year-old son Noah spent almost a week in the hospital fighting his way back to his family after being bit by a mosquito carrying La Crosse encephalitis, which can cause swelling of the brain.
The mom recalled how her “spunky little dude” had complained of a headache. Soon after, his lips turned blue, he went limp and, on the way to the hospital, he began having seizures.
Surrett explains the ordeal in this Facebook post:
Mom was already a firm believer in bug spray
Surrett said her son was admitted to the hospital and the family received the diagnosis of La Crosse encephalitis after a spinal tap. But she wasn’t relieved because Noah was not immediately responding to medications and treatment.
At that point, she did what a lot of other mothers would have done: Asked herself, “What could I have done to make sure he was safer?”
“I am a mother of 5 boys and I am a firm believer in bug spray and all that 2 keep the bugs away and it still happened to my little man,” her post read.
‘I don’t want to see another baby go through this’
Noah finally woke up and was discharged from the hospital.
But Surrett has a final message in her Facebook post for parents.
“…Please be cautious as this was something I thought I had prevented happening. I don’t want to see another baby go through this…Use big spray on your kids check for bites, it’s not 100% preventable obviously but do what you can to try.
“Also I want to add that the Drs. have told me it’s very common in this area but this is the first I have ever heard of it so that’s why I wanted to make this post public. After having 5 kids I’m just now finding out about it and I didn’t want to find out this way.”
More about La Crosse encephalitis
The Centers for Disease Control classifies La Crosse encephalitis as a rare disease with about 63 cases reported each year in the U.S.
- People become infected through the bite of a mosquito.
- It takes five to 15 days for an infected person to show symptoms.
- Symptoms include: fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and tiredness. Severe disease, which includes encephalitis or inflammation of the brain, occurs mostly in children younger than 16 and is often accompanied by seizures. Coma and paralysis occur in some cases.
- Diagnosis is based on tests of blood or spinal fluid.
- There is no specific treatment. Severe illnesses are treated with supportive therapy and hospitalization.