There are 644 known species of tick of which the genus Ixodes is the primary group of medical importance in Australia although other genuses are occasionally of concern some of which are introduced. There are 19 separate species of Ixodes in Australia and about 70 species of tick overall.
The Australian paralysis tick is found in scrub and brush country in coastal regions of eastern Australia. It can transmit Australian or North Queensland tick typhus (tick bite fever) and can also transmit Q fever. Lyme's Disease has been reported from the Hunter Area. None of these diseases is at all common.
While it is the adult tick which produces a toxin that causes paralysis, it is possible to become allergic to the protein in the saliva at any of the stages. This allergic reaction can be quite severe and can ultimately lead to life threatening reactions.
The tick has been responsible for at least 20 deaths in NSW alone between 1900 and 1945, but no one has died since that time.
There is an antivenom which is potentially effective against the paralysis induced by this tick.