Mumbai: Teen girl fights back rare brain ailment

Cryptococcus is an invasive fungus, transmitted through the inhalation of spores and causes cryptococcosis, an infection commonly associated with immunosuppressed individuals

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Tuesday, June 07, 2022, 08:25 AM IST
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After two months of careful treatment, an 18-year-old girl from Raigad was cured of a rare fungal infection-cryptococcus. Having a medical history of recurring fever, breathlessness and headaches, the teen was taking treatment at a private hospital in Raigad.

As the girl got no medical relief, she was admitted to Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai Central. Cryptococcus is an invasive fungus, transmitted through the inhalation of spores and causes cryptococcosis, an infection commonly associated with immunosuppressed individuals. Patients present symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, photophobia, and neck stiffness as cryptococcal meningitis sets in.

Explaining about the patient's condition, Dr Prashant Makhija, consultant neurologist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai Central said the patient required urgent ventilator support given severe breathing difficulty. She also complained of severe headaches and visual impairment and had weakness, involving all four limbs and was hardly able to move them. “As part of her evaluation, she underwent MRI-BRAIN, CSF studies (investigation of brain fluid) and nerve conduction studies.

Her investigations revealed a rare fungal infection of the brain- cryptococcus which is otherwise seen in patients with weak immunity, in addition, she had a rare type of nerve weakness- Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) - a rare condition in which a person’s immune system attacks the peripheral nerves,” he said.

Eventually after a long battle with multiple illnesses she made a miraculous recovery; she was weaned off the ventilator, regained power in her limbs and is now fully independent and has also started preparing for her exams for which she could not appear, he concluded. Meanwhile, the family was elated that their child has recuperated.

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