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10-yr-old may be first female with tree-man syndrome in Bangladesh

10-yr-old may be first female with tree-man syndrome in Bangladesh

Shahana Khatun, 10, has bark-like warts growing out of her face. (Photo: AFP)

Dhaka: Doctors in Bangladesh will form a medical board to assess a 10-year-old girl with bark-like warts growing out of her face, believed to be tree-man
syndrome, a rare genetic hereditary skin disorder.

A six-member medical board will be formed to assess Shahana Khatun’s illness, Dr Samanta Lal of Dhaka Medical College Hospital said, adding that her treatment will be free of cost, according to a media report today. Shahana Khatun’s father Shahjahan Mia, a farmer became concerned when a growth previously thought to be prickly heat rashes started to spread and grow on his daughters face, The Daily Star reported.

“This appears to be similar to Tree-man disease that affected Abul Bajandar, hailing from Khulna,” Samanta Lal Sen, coordinator of Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit said. A class-3 student of Baluchora Government Primary School, Shahana lost her mother four years ago and was raised by her grandmother and aunt.

At the age of one, she appeared to have what was then thought prickly heat rashes on her face. These started to grow about three years back, her father said. Previously, Abul Bajandar, 26, also known as “tree man” has undergone at least 18 operations at the same hospital where Shahana is receiving treatment.

Tree-man disease is a rare skin disorder, which covers limbs with warts, making them look like tree branches. A Romanian man was first 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 Indonesia in 2009.