A baby in Tanzania was born with its lower body fused together like a 'mermaid' in an ultra rare case

A baby in Tanzania was born with its lower body fused together like a ‘mermaid’ in an ultra rare case

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT 

A baby in Tanzania was born with its lower body fused together like a ‘mermaid’ in an ultra rare case.

The newborn, who weighed just over 4.5lbs, was missing one arm and an anal opening and also had ambiguous genitalia, making it difficult to assign a sex. The infant only lived for about five minutes. 

Doctors made the diagnosis of sirenomelia, or ‘mermaid syndrome,’ which has only been recorded a handful of times. 

The case was noted earlier this month in a US medical journal.

Sirenomelia is almost always fatal, with just one percent of affected infants surviving longer than one week after birth. 

The doctors treating the baby called the condition ‘incompatible’ with life due to ‘multiple defects in critical systems.’ 

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) states that it’s unclear what causes sirenomelia, and most cases occur randomly.

It’s thought that tissues do not properly develop or separate in the womb, which leads to lower extremeties fusing together.

The newborn’s mother, a 22-year-old with no other children, was a rural farmer who had only attended two prenatal visits. 

She had no underlying medical conditions and tested negative for syphilis and HIV. 

The mother reported no history of smoking, drinking, drug abuse, or exposure to pesticides. 

However, she did regularly use fertilizers due to her work as a farmer, which may have exposed the baby to harmful toxins, the doctors noted.

One of the most famous of Sirenomelia was that of Milagros Cerron, a Peruvian girl who was dubbed the 'Little Mermaid' after her birth in 2004

She lived to be 15 and died as she awaited a kidney transplant

One of the most famous of Sirenomelia was that of Milagros Cerron, a Peruvian girl who was dubbed the ‘Little Mermaid’ after her birth in 2004. She lived to be 15 and died as she awaited a kidney transplant

The doctors did not perform any x-rays or post mortem exams ‘due to cultural taboo and restriction regarding handling or deceased individuals.’ There was no lab capacity for genetic testing. 

Very few cases of sironomelia have been reported in medical literature. 

One of the most famous was that of Milagros Cerron, a Peruvian girl who was dubbed the ‘Little Mermaid’ after her birth in 2004. 

Despite only having one kidney, she not only beat the odds to survive past birth but also thrived after her legs were separated as a baby. However, she died in 2019 at age 15 while awaiting a kidney transplant.

The case report was published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports

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