India’s Bihar state sees unexpected rise in birth of ‘alien’ babies, experts perplexed

India’s Bihar state sees unexpected rise in birth of ‘alien’ babies, experts perplexed

PATNA: A sudden spurt in cases of babies born with “alien faces” having big red eyes, fish skin and underdeveloped head has alarmed the health experts. At least, four such cases have been reported from different parts of Bihar since January this year.

The “alien story” which the doctors describe as the case of “harlequin-type ichthyosis” first hit the headlines in January when a Muslim woman delivered a baby with horrible look, prompting her to abandon the newborn soon thereafter.

The woman, a resident of Palignaj block in Patna district, even refused to breastfeed her baby even as the crowds of villagers made beelines outside her home to have a glimpse of what they called “alien baby” portrayed in pictures.

The ‘alien’ baby born to a Muslim woman in Patna, Bihar

The woman looked completely shocked and devastated. “That was not the baby I was looking for. I wanted to become a mother of healthy girl child, be it boy or the girl,” was how she told the media.

The doctors too said at that time that the overall rate of “harlequin ichthyosis” is one in three lakhs but since then three other such girls too have been born in Bihar.

The fresh case has been reported from Azamnagar locality of Katihar. The baby which doesn’t have has several organs properly developed is drawing huge crowd of villagers. The baby was born on 19 March.

Another such baby was born at a nursing home in Bhagalapur district on 24 February. Reports said the family got so much disturbed after this baby’s birth that they immediately fled the nursing home.

Yet another “alien” baby was born to Kanti Devi at a government hospital in east Champaran district on 2 February. The mother himself screamed after seeing the baby after birth—the newborn had big eyes but no head. Hospital authorities soon referred the baby to other hospital.

“They could be the result of genetic disorders but we don’t know why there has been a sudden spurt in such cases in Bihar,” said Dr Brajnandan Kumar, a senior Patna doctor.

Featured Image Caption: The ‘alien’ baby born to another Muslim woman in Katihar district of Bihar on March 19

Story Courtesy: The Statesman

Story Link: http://epaper.thestatesman.com/1145285/Statesman-Delhi/23-03-2017#page/5/1

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