World The horrifying diseases that could be lurking in the Tham Luang cave

16:28  10 july  2018
16:28  10 july  2018 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

"Today is D-Day": Rescuers begin mission to extract Thai cave boys

  "Today is D-Day": Rescuers begin mission to extract Thai cave boysThirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit would attempt to bring the boys – some of whom are as young as 11 and not strong swimmers – through narrow, submerged passageways that claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver earlier this week.

Those rescued from Tham Luang Cave are being closely examined by doctors and are not yet allowed to have contact with their families. “We don’t have experience in this kind of deep cave , but they said they didn’t see any bats or animals,” Dr. Jesada said. “Bats can lead to several diseases .”

The rain could potentially set back progress made over the last week to drain the Tham Luang cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai.

Some of the trapped boys in the cave in Tham Luang.© Thailand Cave Rescue Some of the trapped boys in the cave in Tham Luang. Most members of the “Wild Boar” soccer team have been rescued – but after more than two weeks imprisoned underground in terrifying conditions, they are not out of the woods yet.

Health experts say the boys could have been exposed to an array of nasty diseases lurking in the flood water and spread by cave-dwelling animals.

Following initial health checks, Thai authorities have confirmed that two of the rescued soccer players are showing signs of pneumonia, but are otherwise in good health as they remain in isolation in hospital.

In the meantime, it is likely doctors will be on the lookout for a number of other health conditions as the rescue mission continues.

Thai cave rescue could happen 'today or tomorrow'

  Thai cave rescue could happen 'today or tomorrow' A diver who has volunteered to help get 12 boys and their football coach out of a cave complex in Thailand has said the rescue could happen "today or tomorrow".He also said the "mood has changed" among the rescue team after a former Navy Seal diver died while taking part in the effort.

Rescue workers near the Tham Luang cave complex, where an operation to free 12 schoolboys and their coach trapped inside a flooded cave has begun. Rescue operation to free boys stuck in Thailand cave ' could take days'.

Image. Ambulances leaving the Tham Luang Cave area in northern Thailand on Tuesday. Hypoxia can be a concern in high-altitude regions, or when a plane loses air pressure. The air in caves tends to be good, and cavers would typically worry about high concentrations of carbon monoxide, not low

Cave disease

Otherwise known as histoplasmosis, it can be contracted by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in soil with bat or bird droppings.

Often the symptoms are mild, but it has also been known to trigger serious complications, including meningitis (a brain infection), and is especially risky for those with compromised immune systems. Often the illness doesn’t become apparent until two weeks after exposure.

Leptospirosis

Rat urine is likely to be the main culprit in the spread of this bacterial disease in Thailand, said Professor Peter Leggat from James Cook University in Queensland.

Outbreaks are usually linked to exposure to flood water. It can sometime be fatal and cause serious disease including kidney failure and jaundice.

Thailand's cave boys to be discharged from hospital next week

  Thailand's cave boys to be discharged from hospital next week Twelve Thai boys rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand will be discharged from hospital next week, health minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said on Saturday. © REUTERS TV A screen grab shows boys rescued from the Thai cave wearing mask and resting in a hospital in Chiang Rai The last group of the 12-member "Wild Boars" soccer team and their coach was brought out of the Tham Luang cave, near the border with Myanmar, on Tuesday night, safely ending a dangerous rescue and evoking international relief and joy.

“Hopefully our friend can come out safely,” read one. Adul was the boy who spoke to British divers in English in the video that announced to the world that the team had finally been found, after 10 days stuck in the flooded Tham Luang Cave .

Could not subscribe, try again laterInvalid Email. The ninth boy trapped in a cave in Thailand has been freed, according to local reports. An ambulance leaves from the Tham Luang cave area (Image: AFP).

Professor Leggat said as it was likely the soccer team had drunk the water in the cave, there was a possibility of leptospirosis.

Melioidosis

The tropical disease is caused by germs that live in wet soil and enter the body through cuts and scratches.

Common symptoms include a fever and difficulty breathing. It can also be fatal.

“Thailand is one of the hotspots for melioidosis,” said Professor Leggat. “Certainly water would help bring that to the surface so I think it's justifiable they could be a little bit concerned.”

'Bat rabies'

Although very rare, Associate Professor Simon Reid from the University of Queensland’s School of Public Health said that “bat rabies” or lyssavirus was also a risk for the group.

“Generally you have to be scratched but there are concerns that just exposure to bat droppings can put you at risk,” Professor Reid said.

Once the symptoms of rabies have begun there is no treatment. The illness progresses rapidly to paralysis, delirium, convulsions and death.

'He’s the one I trust': Coach praised as 'real hero' in Thai cave saga

  'He’s the one I trust': Coach praised as 'real hero' in Thai cave saga As parents implore people not to blame the soccer coach who accompanied 12 boys into a cave, one of his former players has heaped praise on the 25-year-old.Tham Luang: A close friend of some of the Thai soccer players trapped in the Tham Luang cave has declared the “real hero” of the saga that has riveted Thailand and gripped the world is the team’s coach, 25-year-old Ekaphol "Ake" Chantawong.

Thai Navy soldiers in the flooded Tham Luang cave during rescue operations for the 12 boys and their football team coach trapped in the cave at Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province. Detecting cave disease can be difficult and depends on many factors

The Tham Luang cave is believed to be a six-mile-long network of channels carved into the Doi Nang Non mountain range. Because rainwater has eroded away the cave and created cracks in the above mountain, water can quickly percolate down into the cave .

Post-traumatic disorders

The rescued boys will probably have trouble sleeping and settling back into a routine as they recover from their “acutely traumatic” experience, said Professor Ian Hickie with the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre.

But how deeply affected they remain in the long term will probably depend on whether the rest of the team is able to get out safely, and if they are able to resume a relatively normal existence once the attention dies down, he said.

Thai authorities have so far been shielding the boys from the intense glare of the global media.

“The danger here for kids who are individually dragged into the limelight is that their whole life becomes about this one particular misadventure,” Professor Hickie said.

“I think the Thai authorities' emphasis on privacy and trying to deal with the group as a whole is actually a very mature one, assuming the families are intimately involved.”

Boys lost in Thai cave to be taught how to dive .
Twelve boys and their football coach who are trapped in a Thai cave will be given four months of food and taught how to dive. The group was trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex in Chiang Rai province for 10 days before being found by British rescuers.They were reached after a huge international rescue effort, with the underground cave network having been partially flooded by monsoon rains.But, since they were found, the question has been how to get them out through the underwater cave system, as they are about 2.5 miles from the entrance.

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