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Many babies wrongly diagnosed of asthma, says expert

Lagos – A gynaecologist, Dr Kin Egwuonwu, on Monday said many Nigerian babies suffering from genital warts (Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP) were often wrongly diagnosed for asthma.

Egwuonwu, who is the National Coordinator, National Cancer Prevention Programme, told reporters in Lagos that majority of the babies died in the process.

According to him, RRP, characterised by genital warts in the throat of a baby, manifests like asthma but does not respond to asthma treatment.

“So, some of the children you see that they say have asthma, they don’t have asthma; they have warts in their throat.

“But, because nobody knows, they will die as if they have asthma,” he said.

The National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, said, “Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) is a disease in which tumours grow in the air passages leading from the nose and mouth into the lungs (respiratory tract).

“Although, the tumours can grow anywhere in the respiratory tract, their presence in the larynx (voice box) causes the most frequent problems, a condition called laryngeal papillomatosis.

“RRP is caused by two types of human papilloma virus (HPV), called HPV 6 and HPV 11.

“However, many HPVs can cause small wart-like, non-cancerous tumours called papillomas. The most common illness caused by HPV 6 and HPV 11 is genital warts.”

Egwuonwu said, “When you have a baby born to a woman who has the virus, sometimes, that baby comes out with the warts in the windpipe of the throat.

“That is what we call Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP).

“It manifests like asthma in those children, but unlike asthma, it does not respond to asthma treatment.” (NAN)


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