Updated July 25th, 2021 at 16:04 IST

Canada: 12-year-old boy with bright yellow tongue diagnosed with rare 'Epstein-Barr' virus

In a rare disorder, a 12-year-old boy in Canada was diagnosed with a serious health problem, which led to his tongue turning bright yellow colour.

Reported by: Bhavya Sukheja
Edited by: Bhavya Sukheja
IMAGE: TWITTER | Image:self

In a rare disorder, a 12-year-old boy was diagnosed with a serious health problem, which led to his tongue turning bright yellow in colour. According to a report published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the Canadian boy was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, which attacked his immune system and destroyed its red blood cells. The 12-year-old was taken to the hospital after he experienced a sore throat, dark urine, abdominal pain and pale skin for several days. 

As per the report, the doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto initially determine that the boy had jaundice - a condition that usually leads to yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. However, they were shocked to see the bright yellow tint on his tongue. After running few medical tests, the health experts then determined that the boy had anaemia and was infected with EpsteinBarr virus, which is a common virus that usually infects people in childhood and has also been linked with a number of autoimmune conditions.

According to the doctors, such a condition is triggered by cold temperatures. The 12-year-old was diagnosed with cold agglutinin disease, a rare autoimmune disorder in which a person's immune system attacks and destroys its own red blood cells. The health care experts suspect the boy contracted the disease due to an infection from EpsteinBarr virus.

‘Recovered well’ 

The NEJM informed that the boy’s treatment involved blood transfusion and the use of oral steroids for seven weeks to reduce immune system activity. He has now “recovered well” after leaving the hospital. His tongue colour will also gradually returne to normal. 

“A 12-year-old boy presented with a 4-day history of sore throat and dark urine. He was found to have jaundice with an icteric tongue, and the hemoglobin level was 6.1 g per deciliter. A diagnosis of cold agglutinin, EBV-induced acute hemolytic anemia was made,” NEJM said. 

Meanwhile, it is worth noting that according to the US National Institute of Health, cold agglutinin disease results in anaemia and may also result in the fast breakdown of red blood cells leading to a buildup of bilirubin, which causes jaundice. Cold agglutinin disease can be primary (unknown cause) or secondary, due to an underlying condition such as an infection, another autoimmune disease, or certain cancers. Symptoms are often triggered or made worse by cold temperatures or a viral infection.

(Image: Twitter)



Published July 25th, 2021 at 16:03 IST

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