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Dr Shaikh - Beware of Zoonosis infections

Boy with zoonosis related cysts recovers

Undergoes surgery at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road

Animals can appear healthy even when they are carrying germs that can make people sick, said, Dr Imran Shaikh of Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road

MUMBAI, May 25 (The CONNECT) - a 10-year-old boy with a are zoonosis disease that caused him multiple cysts in his liver and lung has been successfully treated at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road. The patient underwent right liver resection and right lung lobectomy. After 12 days of hospital stay, the boy has gone home and resumed his online schooling.

Ali Khan, a 10-year-old schoolboy from Uttar Pradesh’s was coughing for about nine months and couldn’t concentrate on his studies. His family members were worried as he lost interest in his daily activities. The patient would avoid socializing as he was embarrassed and scared due to the constant coughing. He was unable to sleep or perform daily chores and his quality of life was compromised. He was taken to a doctor who diagnosed the condition as Tuberculosis (TB). Even after taking medication, his condition didn’t improve and the patient was brought to Mumbai for further diagnosis at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road.

Dr Imran Shaikh, consultant Surgical Gastro, and GI Oncosurgery, at the hospital, Mira Road, said, the patient had pain in the abdomen, coughing, and breathing difficulty. He was evaluated by performing sonography that indicated a large cystic lesion of big size approximately 14 cm x 12 cm in the liver compressing the pancreas and kidneys. His CT scan revealed a 15 cm in size lesion in the right lung that had a big cavity that was infected and about to rupture. The cysts were formed due to zoonosis infectious disease.

Zoonotic diseases are caused by harmful germs like viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, and spread to humans through direct contact or through food, water, or the environment. Animals can appear healthy even when they are carrying germs that can make people sick. Children, older adults, one's with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women will be at risk of this disease.

Dr Shaikh explained. This patient was in direct contact with dogs and sheep in the village which are thought to be the sources of zoonosis.

This infection travels to the intestine, liver and then lung wherein it completes its lifecycle, becomes adult and mature, and is known as Hydatid cyst. “The Hydatid cyst becomes big in size and produces multiple daughter and granddaughter cysts. These cysts indicate that the organism is alive and it is reproducing. Sometimes, the organism creates a home and dies, or becomes small in size,” the doctor said.  “In his case, the cysts were increasing in size and multiplying. When the cyst travels from the liver to the lung, it again goes into the blood and gets trapped and develops another cyst. One can have multiple cysts in the body, commonly in the lung and liver.  In the lung, the cyst erodes the bronchus windpipe.”

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Tips to prevent zoonosis disease

•  Wash your hands from frequently

•  Avoid being bitten or scratched by an animal

• Get your pets vaccinated and take them for regular follow-ups to the veterinarian

• Don’t eat, drink, or touch your eyes or mouth while you’re handling or in close contact with animals

•  Use gloves to handle an animal that is or appears to be sick

• Clean the area where animals are kept

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There are some chances of recurrences so after surgery patient has started on medicines which he has to continue for 3 months. Patient also advised to avoid contact with domestic animals. Not treating him could have been disastrous as this disease keep multiplying and damage liver, lung and sometimes even future leading to death. After 3 months of treatment, He will be asked to come for follow-up on a yearly basis wherein a CT scan will be done for 5 years to check the status of the disease. Hydatid cyst is rare disease and affect people living in with unhygienic conditions. This disease is completely preventable as it gets transmitted from hand which are contaminated in stool of domestic animals. Simple good hygiene and hand cleaning can prevent this. Also, this is completely curable if timely diagnosed. Sometime diagnosis can be problematic as it mimic other benign diseases of liver and lung, “said Dr Imran Shaikh.

“I was worried when my family used to inform me via video or phone calls that my son is coughing constantly. I was worried thinking it could be Covid or bad TB. I was shocked and worried about him as he was in pain. Even after receiving treatment in the village, he didn’t get that much-needed relief. So, I asked them to travel Wockhardt Hospitals as I reside at Mira Road. I thank the doctors for treating my child with this infection that we were unaware of. Now, my son is leading a normal life like other kids, his cough and abdominal pain has vanished,” the boy’s father Khan said.

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