After noticing something inside his nostril, a 27 year old male finally went to consult a doctor in New Delhi. For him, nosebleeds were a regular occurrence from the past three months.
Upon examination, a foreign grim red lump was found inside his nose that bled profusely upon contact, making the doctors resolve to remove it as soon as possible.
After cutting the mass away, they sent it away for testing and discovered the man was suffering a condition called rhinosporidosis, a disease which affects the membranes in the body.
The 27-year-old picked up the bug swimming in a pond.
Rhinosporidosis is a nasty and rare infection that causes tumour-like lumps or polyps to grow in the nostrils. It can also affect the throat, eyes, rectum and external genitalia, the doctor’s note in a case report published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
A water-borne bug called Rhinosporidium seeberi is known to cause the condition.
At the follow up, around eight months later, the patient had areas of recurrence in the nasopharynx that had to be removed.
Although commonly found in southern India, Sri Lanka and Argentina, cases have also been reported in Europe and Africa.
The first sign that indicates that you might be infected is when you feel as though there’s a foreign body in the nostril.
In most cases, the disease progresses really slowly and lumps can be present for years before a patient develops any symptoms.
Pirabu Sakthivel, author of the case report, said: “The typical presentation is a reddish polyp, commonly involving the nasal cavity that bleeds profusely on touch. He added, “Men are commonly more affected than women.”
Experts also believe the bug can be transmitted to humans in dust, given cases that have cropped up in arid countries in the Middle East.