What can be ‘cave disease’? Doctors might watch for these conditions in Thai soccer team

Story highlights

  • Thai youth soccer team’s recovery involves isolation as well as also searching for signs of infection
  • Histoplasmosis can be “a real disease, as well as also people who are spelunkers are at risk of which,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta says
The final boy as well as also the coach were pulled out of the cave early Tuesday as well as also were treated at an on-site medical center, marking the end of an international rescue effort. Three various other boys were transported to a nearby hospital to join eight of their teammates who were recuperating in an isolation ward after being rescued Sunday as well as also Monday.

With their rescue at a triumphant end, their road to recovery today begins.

‘Your body starts to change’

To get a better understanding of how the boys as well as also their coach are faring medically, doctors probably will refer to the timeline of how long the soccer team was trapped from the cave, said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent.
  • Thailand cave rescue

  • Saturday, June 23

    12 members of the Wild Boar soccer team as well as also their coach become trapped in a Thai cave by monsoon rains.

  • Monday, July 2

    British divers find the boys, aged 11 to 16, as well as also their coach on a rocky ledge, 4 kilometers inside the cave.

  • Friday, July 6

    A former Thai Navy SEAL dies by lack of air while delivering oxygen tanks inside the cave.

  • Sunday, July 8

    The first group of 4 boys are rescued as well as also moved to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital.

  • Monday, July 9

    Four more boys are rescued as well as also taken to hospital.

  • Tuesday, July 10

    All remaining boys as well as also their coach are freed as well as also taken to hospital.

Source: CNN reporting

“With regard to the basics — hydration, malnutrition as well as also body temperature, or the hypothermia — they’ll get a pretty not bad idea of what shape the boys are in as well as also how quickly they will feed as well as also rehydrate them, based on the timeline,” Gupta said.

“which can be very emotional, certainly, to see as well as also hear which these boys are all coming out when we just didn’t know the certainty as well as also possibility,” he said. “What’s so amazing beyond which can be which This specific was a genuinely difficult rescue plan to execute. … which’s just very remarkable when people are risking their own lives to save others.”

The boys, ages 11 to 16, as well as also their coach went missing while exploring a cave network in northern Thailand on June 23. Heavy seasonal rains flooded the cave entrance, trapping them inside. Their sudden disappearance sparked a desperate search as well as also rescue effort.

One diver participating from the rescue effort died while navigating the dangerous, water-filled passageways inside the caves.
Eight boys who were rescued on Sunday as well as also Monday were placed in an isolation unit from the Chiang Rai hospital.

Jedsada Chokedamrongsook, the permanent secretary of the Thai Health Ministry, said the boys from the first group, rescued on Sunday, were ages 14 to 16. Their body temperatures were very low when they emerged by the cave, as well as also two might have lung inflammation.

Their families have been able to see them through a window from the isolation unit, Chokedamrongsook said, as well as also they were able to talk on the phone. Family members will be allowed to enter the unit if tests show which the boys are free of infection.

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The boys from the second group, rescued Monday, were 12 to 14. One had a very slow heartbeat although responded well to treatment, Chokedamrongsook said.

Regarding both groups, medical officials said Tuesday which the boys are healthy, fever-free, mentally fit as well as also “seem to be in high spirits.”

The boys are all likely to stay from the hospital for seven days due to their weakened immune systems.

They remain in an isolation ward to protect their bodies by any risk of infection, Gupta said.

Thailand cave rescue: The health toll of waiting for freedom

“The reason they’re in isolation can be, when your body can be without natural light for which long — since you’re literally living in a cave — your body starts to change. Certain things get ramped up. Certain things get ramped down. One thing which often gets ramped down can be the immune system,” Gupta said.

using a weakened immune system, “a pathogen might be more dangerous for them,” he said. “which’s why they don’t let the parents touch them, because anything can be a potential threat.”

Along with checking for fresh infections, doctors probably will look for signs of certain infections which stem by being from the cave, such as histoplasmosis or cave disease, Gupta said. which infection can be caused by breathing from the spores of a fungus often found in bird as well as also bat droppings.

“which’s a real disease, as well as also people who are spelunkers are at risk of which,” he said.

The diseases which lurk in caves

There are various degrees of cave disease infection, said Dee Carter, a professor from the School of Life as well as also Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney, in a statement by the Australian Science Media Centre.
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“Generally, in a healthy child or adult the immune system will deal with the disease as well as also they will only show flu-like symptoms if any symptoms at all. The boys in Thailand should have healthy immune systems although may perhaps be compromised by malnourishment, as well as also their quarantine may be to deal with any potential contamination of hair, clothing or various other belongings,” Carter said.

“If histoplasmosis does progress — which can sometimes happen even in otherwise healthy people as well as also which’s not known why This specific happens in some cases as well as also not in others — the initial flu-like symptoms can turn into a pneumonia-like condition,” she said.

“In a very smaller number of cases, there can be dissemination to various other organs as well as also This specific can be a very grave condition. There can be a smaller number of drugs which can be used in treatment although at the latter stages these aren’t terribly effective as well as also can have serious side-effects,” she said.

which’s no surprise which there can be concern about the children developing pneumonic histoplasmosis, although caves also can be fertile grounds for many various other infectious diseases, such as rabies, leptospirosis or tick-borne relapsing fever, said Hosam Zowawi, a research fellow as well as also group leader at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, in a statement by the Australian Science Media Centre.
“Caves make excellent environments for bats as well as also bats make excellent reservoir for many viruses. which can be why virologists are studying bats by caves for their potential carriage for lethal viruses, such as Ebola as well as also Nipah viruses,” said Zowawi, who has done research in caves.

“Yet, which can be also very important to consider which a very smaller portion of the caves on planet earth have been discovered as well as also the microbial ecology of the discovered caves are heavily understudied,” he said, adding which the risk of encountering various other undiscovered pathogens remains very likely.

All in all, Zowawi said, “I genuinely trust which the cave kids story in Thailand will stimulate the public as well as also funding agents to support scientists to carry out more research to study innovative ways to tackle infectious diseases, particularly those occurring by exposure to the environment.”

Source : What can be ‘cave disease’? Doctors might watch for these conditions in Thai soccer team