From 100 worms till none: Gurugram girl's recovery

Delhi

23 Jul 2018

This Gurugram eight-year-old had 100+ tapeworms in her brain

For six months, this eight-year-old had been suffering from severe headache and epileptic seizures.

Upon admitting her to Fortis Hospital, she was diagnosed with neurocysticercosis, a tapeworm infection that affects the brain, muscle and other tissues.

Her CT scan proved that and showed inhabitation of a stunning 100+ tapeworm eggs in her brain, which sent shockwaves through her parents.

Miraculously, she has now recovered.

Treatment

Initially doctors started her on steroids, which led to weight-gain

Initially doctors started her on steroids, which led to weight-gain

After she was diagnosed with neurocysticercosis, doctors put her on prolonged steroid that resulted in weight-gain.

At such a tender age, she went from 40kg to 60kg, due to which she was unable to walk and suffered from breathlessness.

However, when the medication couldn't help her with seizures and headaches, she was admitted to the hospital.

By then, she was almost unable to move.

Diagnosis

Her brain started swelling to accommodate the growing cyst population

At the hospital, after the scan confirmed her condition, doctors started decongestants and later steroids for reducing the swelling in her brain.

Gradually, anthelmintic or antihelminthic therapy (anti-parasitic medication) was started that destroyed the cysts or tapeworm eggs.

It took her a lot of time, but slowly and steadily she got back in shape, was able to walk and resume school.

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Tapeworm infestation fairly common, spreads through unhygienic habits: Doctor

Tapeworm infestation fairly common, spreads through unhygienic habits: Doctor

Doctors said the little girl had a lucky escape and got treated before the tapeworm eggs could hatch.

Tapeworm infestation is fairly common and is caused "by accidentally eating improperly washed fruits, vegetables and undercooked meat infected by pork tapeworm," said Praveen Gupta, Director, Neurology Department, Fortis Hospital Gurugram.

In her case, the worms traveled till her brain through the bloodstream, he added.

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