Mumbai: 18-yr-old teen fought a rare fungal infection; Goes home after 2 months


Recently, an 18-year-old girl Ms. D Latha (Name changed for confidentiality purpose) was admitted to Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central with complaints of fever and breathlessness. She had a history of fever for 4 months along with headaches and she was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Raigad.

The hospital at Raigad, suspected tuberculosis and she was treated accordingly, she showed improvement but later her oxygen levels started dropping and thus she was rushed to Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central.

Cryptococcus is an invasive fungus, transmitted through the inhalation of spores and causes cryptococcosis, an infection commonly associated with immunosuppressive individuals. Patients present with fever, headache, malaise, photophobia, and neck stiffness as cryptococcal meningitis sets in. This activity describes the evaluation and management of cryptococcosis and reviews the role of the inter-professional team in improving care for patients with this condition.

According to Dr. Makhija, Consultant Neurologist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai Central, “At the time of arrival at Wockhardt Hospitals, she needed urgent ventilator support in view of severe breathing difficulty. She also complained of severe headaches and visual impairment; she 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 rare fungal infection of the Brain- cryptococcus which is otherwise seen in patients with weak immunity, in addition she had rare type of nerve weakness- Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) – a rare condition in which a person’s immune system attacks the peripheral nerves.

In view of history of recurrent joint pains, Rheumatologist’s opinion was taken who diagnosed her to have SLE (Systemic lupus erythematosus). She remained in hospital for nearly two months during which she received IV immunoglobulins for nerve and immune dysfunction and antifungal therapy for her fungal infection. 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.”

The family was happy that their teenage child was back home and said “We were blessed with a gift of hope when we met the team of doctors who treated our daughter at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai Central.  When our child was diagnosed with this rare fungal disorder, we were lost and distraught not knowing what next, especially when the hospitals at Raigad were not able to detect the cause.  We thank the doctors and all the support staff at Wockhardt Hospitals, for sharing with us timely course of treatment and progress during these difficult times, we truly experienced LIFE WINS… at Wockhardt Hospitals.

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