Rare 'tree man' disease may have struck first female

It looks like we may have to start calling it "tree person syndrome." Sky News reports 10-year-old Sahana Khatun may be the first female in the world with the rare genetic disease commonly known as tree man syndrome.

The Bangladeshi girl was admitted to a hospital in the capital of Dhakawith "bark-like warts" on her nose, chin, and ears, according to CNN. The growths first showed up a few months ago, but Sahana had related rashes on her face when she was as young as 2. Her father, Mohammad Shahjahan, decided to bring her to the hospital when the growths started to spread, the BBC reports. "I really hope that the doctors will remove the barks from my beautiful daughter's face," Sky News quotes him as saying.

Tree man syndrome is an extremely rare condition more formally known as epidermodysplasia verruciformis. It's caused by unusual vulnerability to the human papillomavirus.

The Telegraph reports that only four cases—all in men—have been documented prior to Sahana. An Indonesian man died from the disease last year. But Abul Bjandar, who had growths on his hands and legs weighing up to 11 pounds, has undergone more than a dozen surgeries at the hospital in Dhaka and is close to being released.

Sahana is being tested to confirm she does indeed have tree man syndrome. Doctors say it appears to be a mild case and believe it could take just one surgery to remove the growths from Sahana's face. (This rare disease can make you think you're dead.)

This story originally appeared on Newser

PHOTOS | Tree man syndrome 

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