Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

From Jackalopes to the Tree Man

homemplanta32hjkDede, an Indonesian fisherman now 35, baffled medical experts when warty “roots” began growing out of his arms and feet after he cut his knee in a teenage accident. The welts spread across his body unchecked and soon he was left unable to carry out everyday household tasks.

Sacked from his job and deserted by his wife, Dede has been raising his two children – now in their late teens – in poverty, resigned to the fact that local doctors had no cure for his condition. To make ends meet he even joined a local “freak show”, parading in front of a paying audience alongside victims of other peculiar diseases. Although supported by his extended family, he was often a target of abuse and ridicule in his rural fishing village.

But now an American dermatology expert who flew out to Dede’s home village south of the capital Jakarta claims to have identified his condition, and proposed a treatment that could transform his life.

After testing samples of the lesions and Dede’s blood, Dr Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland concluded that his affliction is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a fairly common infection that usually causes small warts to develop on sufferers.

Dede’s problem is that he has a rare genetic fault that impedes his immune system, meaning his body is unable to contain the warts.

The virus was therefore able to “hijack the cellular machinery of his skin cells”, ordering them to produce massive amounts of the substance that caused the tree-like growths known as “cutaneous horns” on his hands and feet.”

Read the rest — and see the photos — on the Telegraph:
Tree man ‘who grew roots’ may be cured
Warning: slightly strong images, it’s not a nice condition.

The very same condition afflicted a Romanian man that was featured a few months ago on the Internet. And a similar form of the condition also seems to be behind cases of people that grow “horns, like a recent Chinese granny.

In rabbits, it may also be related to the Jackalope.

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