‘Mermaid Baby’ Dies Four Hours After Birth in Indian Hospital

‘Mermaid Baby’ Dies Four Hours After Birth in Indian Hospital

A baby born with Sirenomelia (or Mermaid Syndrome) died four hours after birth in Kolkata, India. The baby born with underdeveloped pelvis and fused legs couldn’t survive. The doctors have been unable to identify sex of the baby.

23-year old Muskura Bibi surprised medical staff at government hospital after delivering the baby with Sirenomelia (or Mermaid Syndrome). The baby marks second case of mermaid baby born in India and the fifth across the world.

Dr Sudip Saha, child specialist at the hospital said: “I had never seen such a baby before. It is the first case of Sirenomelia in the state and second in the country. The baby had normal formation in upper part of the body but below the waist its legs were fused together. The lower part was not developed completely.”

The hospital staff added, “We learnt the mother had not undergone ultrasound sonography throughout gestation.” If the woman had undergone ultrasound during pregnancy, the condition could have been diagnosed earlier.

In majority of cases, birth deformities are caused by lack of nutrition or the mother suffering from serious illness during pregnancy. In the recent times, Zika virus infection has been a reason behind many babies born with deformities in Brazil. Doctors said that mermaid baby syndrome could be blamed on improper blood circulation and development issues with the baby during pregnancy.

In 2016, first case of mermaid baby was reported in Uttar Pradesh, India. The baby survived for 10 minutes only. The exact cause of sirenomelia is still unknown. There have been limited cases of children born with sirenomelia and researchers don’t have enough data to figure out the conditions leading to sirenomelia.

In India, babies born with rare syndromes or deformities, have been considered supernatural in the past. In a recent incident, a baby born with four legs was considered divine and people started flocking to see the child.

This condition is found in approximately one out of every 100,000 live births and is usually fatal within a day or two of birth because of complications associated with abnormal kidney and urinary bladder development and function. More than half the cases of sirenomelia result in stillbirth and this condition is 100 times more likely to occur in identical twins than in single births or fraternal twins.

Medical experts believe that both environmental and genetic factors may play a role in the development of the disorder. Due of abnormal kidney and urinary functions, babies born with rare deformities usually die at an early age. Tiffany Yorks from Clearwater, Florida survived 27 years after being born with mermaid syndrome. Doctors performed surgery before her first birthday to separate her legs. She suffered from mobility during her first few years.

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