How family pets may have led to little girl’s swollen stomach

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

A family cat and dog are believed to be responsible for a little girl suffering swelling on her stomach.

The girl, 5, was taken to the emergency room at Lucerne Children’s Hospital in Switzerland after a four-week history of painful swelling in her abdomen, according to her case in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Pets that she had regular contact with included a cat and a dog,” researchers wrote.

Two photos of a five-year-old girl's stomach. One shows a small red bump on her belly button where a tick was removed and another shows a swelling.
A girl, 5, with a lump on her belly button after the tick was removed (left) and the inguinal lymphadenopathy on her abdomen (right). Source: New England Journal of Medicine

“Six weeks before presentation, her parents had noticed a tick buried in her umbilicus and had removed it with tweezers.”

Unfortunately, five days later the little girl fell ill.

“The patient had fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, and redness around the umbilicus,” researchers wrote.

The symptoms eased after four days but she still had “inguinal lymphadenopathy”, which is inflammation near the groin or lower part of the body.

Inguinal lymphadenopathy is sometimes caused by HIV or tuberculosis, however in the girl’s case it was actually caused by the tick.

The girl was given antibacterial medication to treat Francisella tularensis, which is a type of bacteria spread by ticks and flies.

“Two weeks after the completion of treatment, there was a reduction in the lymphadenopathy,” researchers wrote.

“After an additional two weeks, the swelling had completely resolved.”

Man’s shock at discovery during job application

This latest news of an unusual medical case comes after a man in the Philippines, who was stabbed more than a year ago, was stunned to discover a knife was still lodged in his body.

It turns out doctors had simply sewn up Kent Ryan Tomao, 25, in the city of Kidapawan in January last year after he was attacked.

He told Philippine media group ABS-CBN News the doctor "just closed it and said the wound was not that bad".

Mr Tomao said the injury bothered him in cold weather, but he did not suspect anything was wrong until he applied to work at a mine in the Philippine province of Agusan del Sur.

A job requirement was to undergo a medical examination that included an X-ray.

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