Now a girl is turning into a tree
After Abul Bazander who is being cured of tree man illness, a girl of class three Shahana from Kalkamakanda upazila in Netrokona district got admitted to Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery (SHNIBPS) on Sunday with similar disease.
"It's a variety of Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis, popularly known as tree man illness, and is a rare genetic skin disorder caused by a virus, human papillomaviruses," said Prof Dr Md Abul Kalam, Project Director SHNIBPS, after examining her.
The skin disorder characterized by eruptions of wart-like lesions that may occur anywhere on the body and is associated with high risks of turning into cancer that develops from the epithelial cells of the skin, he said.
"Her warts are grown from face, nose and ears will cause cosmetic disfigurement of the face," Dr Kalam said adding that after conducting different tests, we can say what disease it really is.
But he hoped it would be fully cured as it is not too old, the physician informed.
This correspondent found her warts a little bigger than what those were six months ago while visiting her home in Baluchara village of the Kalmakanda.
"I get itching in face and knees in the morning and night," Shahana, who lost her mother at the age of four, told this correspondent at SHNIBPS on Sunday.
At the age of six months, some rashes could be visible on Shahana's face, hands and legs and later it turned into warts which, now after four years, look like horns, said Shahana's Father Md Shahzahan, a day labourer.
Shahana is a student of Class II of Baluchara Govt Primary School (BGPS), Kalkamakanda in Netrokona district on the northern tip of the country bordering the hills of Meghalaya in India.
Once she was visited by a doctor in Nazirpur Bazar, he referred her to Dhaka for examination, said her grandmother who has no income but lives on handouts from her sons and daughters.
Abul Bajandar, 26, was identified the fourth man in the world with the tree man illness, and on the way to be fully cured underwent rounds of surgery on his hands in the NIBPS.
At first, Bajandar guessed the growths on his hands and feet were moles. But they turned into warts that prevented him from working and left him begging.
On 28 January, he had last surgery and two or three more could be needed for cosmetic surgery, said Dr Samanta Lal Sen, physician and coordinator of the SHNIBPS. So far he had had 18 surgeries.
According to information found on the Internet, a Romanian man was the first to be diagnosed with the disease in March 2007. Another case was reported in Indonesia in November the same year in a 35-year-old fisherman. The last reported case also occurred in the same region of Indonesia in 2009.