Wednesday , June 23 2021

Altikon / Winterthur: "I thought I had lung cancer – but it was a bad plague" – Nationwide

There was a shadow on the lungs. "It does not look good," said doctors at the cantonal hospital Winterthur Walter Bachmann of Altikon. There was suspicion of lung cancer. The 60-year-old farmer and forest manager from the country of wine pulled the ground under his feet. "I did not see any future from moment to moment, suddenly everything was over." Bachmann has been smoking for almost 40 years. So it was pretty convincing that he could have lung cancer. That was four years ago. But feelings of that time are still present. He still remembers how he felt at home just a few hours earlier that day. After showering, he let himself get exhausted on the bed. "I was completely finished," says Bachmann. When he had a temperature of 40 degrees, he felt severe chest pain and could hardly breathe, he called a family doctor. He advised him to go to the hospital immediately, which Bachmann did.

A long time of insecurity

From there, he began a long period of uncertainty for him and his wife. One investigation followed the other. Even if you have not found cancer cells, suspicion of lung cancer can never be completely eliminated. "We have never cried as much this month," recalls Bachmann's wife Beatrice.

"We've never been crying like this month."Beatrice Bachmann

After these four weeks, finally, redemptive, joyful news: Not lung cancer, but pneumonia caused by a rabbit's cough that is cured. "We were relieved when we heard this and thanked God for it," says Beatrice Bachmann. It took time to find such a rare disease, he says, looking back. "We can be satisfied with KSW" Dr. House & # 39 ;, which has encountered a rabbit bacterium. "

Her husband then received high-dose antibiotics for several days; Only a short time later was much better. There was no permanent damage. Bachmann recovered completely from illness. In addition, he could get something positive from the difficult days: "Infection now makes me immune to rabies forever."

Hassan as a cause?

But how did Bachmann get it? It is clear that even a few pathogens can cause the disease, that the incubation period usually lasts only a few days and that many pathways of infection can in principle be imagined (see also the bottom box). Farmer Weinländer assumes that he inhaled the bacterium over the finest particles of dust, which were sprinkled with barley straw bales. These blades can be contaminated with rabbit or mice.

"Why there is a high number of cases of rabies in the quarters of Winterthur and Andelfingen can not be said with certainty."Nadia Schürch, Laboratory Spiez

Walter Bachmann later learned that a similar drama happened on the farm just half a mile away. "A nine-year-old boy was ill at the same time as a bad plague."

KSW has solved many cases

The fact that in the districts of Andelfingen and Winterthur for a number of years there is a focal point with increased risk of rabies contagion (see the map below) also shows the figures published by the Canton Hospital Winterthur as compared to Landbote. "Since 2007 infectious diseases of KSW have been treated in 29 cases," says Urs Karrer, chief physician of the Medical Polyclinic at KSW and a specialist in tularemia, as it is called rough plague in jargon.

Infected rabbit infections in humans. Source: © swisstopo (JM100004) / Labor Spiez, Graphics: mt / da

The most common cases of rabies in KSW were flu-like symptoms such as elevated body temperature, sweating and headaches, and then severe local swelling of the lymph nodes. In some cases, the affected lymph node had to be surgically removed, says Karrer. The patients were treated partly as outpatient and partly as patients. However, serious cases of rabies have also been reported in KSW (43% of all cases). The patients had high temperature, chills, headaches and lung inflammation. For intravenous antibiotics therapy, it remained for up to seven days at the hospital. The coach admitted that sometimes it may take some time, "until the diagnosis and the proper treatment begin". Although the vicious plague in Switzerland is practically never deadly to humans, it is all but harmless. "In 2012, we conceived of a patient who had a very difficult history," remembers Karrer. "This patient would probably die of tularemia without proper treatment".

Infection often over ticks

For a long time, it has been assumed that transmission to humans primarily occurs by direct or indirect contact with diseased animals (rabbits, mice, etc.). In the past, they were mostly hunters or farmers. However, a recent study shows that ticks are the most important source of infection in Switzerland. Their bites are responsible for about 60 percent of cases.

Researchers believe that increased rabies can be associated with global warming and changed recreational behavior. "But why there is a high number of cases of rabies in Winterthur and Andelfingen districts can not be safely said," explains Nadia Schürch, bacteriology director at Spiez Laboratory. "One hypothesis, for example, that ticks have better conditions in these areas than elsewhere." (Landbote)

Created on: 20/11/2018, 4:26 PM

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