Tuesday February 18, 2020

Battle for Life: India’s First Harlequin Baby dies after 48-hour struggle in Nagpur

Harlequin ichthyosis is a very rare disease, reported to occur once in every 3,00,000 thousand babies

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A doctor holds India's first Harlequin baby at a hospital in Nagpur, Maharashtra.Punjabupdate/Twitter
  • Newborn babies affected with harlequin ichthyosis are covered with plates of thick skin that crack and split apart
  • This rare condition occurs if both the parents carry recessive genes of Harlequin
  • The longest period of time anyone with this condition has survived is a girl from Pakistan, who passed away at the age of 24

NAGPUR: In an unfortunate incident in Amravati in the Vidharba region of Maharashtra, a Harlequin baby was born to a farmer’s couple on Saturday, June 11. The news has received wide publicity in several major dailies of India.

Harlequin ichthyosis is a very rare disease, reported to occur once in every 300,000 thousand babies. According to Hindustan Times, Dr. Avinash Banait, who delivered the baby, said: “Harlequin ichthyosis is a very rare severe genetic skin disease. In such cases, the child’s whole body is encased in an ‘armor’ of thick white plates of skin, separated with deep cracks. In addition, the eyes, ears, private parts and the appendages may be abnormally contracted.”

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Infections can be easily caught as the external skin is never fully developed and internal organs are largely exposed to the outside atmosphere. Constant care is required to keep the baby’s body moisturized. In their case, the doctors used petroleum jelly to moisturize the baby’s skin.

Usually, doctors can identify this condition within four months of pregnancy through a 3-D ultrasound and advise the parents to terminate the fetus.

Harlequin
Harlequin fetus. Image source: Wikimedia comons

Newborn babies affected with harlequin ichthyosis are covered with plates of thick skin that crack and split apart.  The thick skin plates can pull at and distort the infant’s facial features. The tightness of the skin pulls around the eyes and mouth, forcing the eyelids and lips to turn inside out, revealing the red inner linings.

In the case of the farmer’s baby, there were no ears and only slits in place of eyes. It was covered in thick scales and weighed around 1.8kg at the time of birth, said the Nagpur Times report.

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This rare condition occurs if both the parents carry recessive genes of Harlequin. Recessive genes mean that the trait is carried by the parents, but not shown physically.

The mother was not allowed to see the baby until two days later. When presented with her child on the second day, in the presence of a psychologist, she reportedly broke down.

The baby passed away two days later on Monday, June 13, in the afternoon. It is the first recorded case of Harlequin ichthyosis in India. The longest period of time anyone with this condition has survived is a girl from Pakistan, who passed away at the age of 24.

-Adapted and prepared from various sources by NewsGram staff with assistance by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. 

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Doctors say, Harlequin affected babies should be aborted immediately as they have negligible chances of surviving. But as this baby was born in a farmer’s house, they couldn’t afford to get a check up done during pregnancy

  • Paras Vashisth

    This is an unknown disease.So for awareness,government should take some steps regarding this.

Next Story

itel Releases “Vision 1”, Big Battery Phone at Rs 5,499

itel Vision 1, India's 1st waterdrop smartphone

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itel launched a category disruptor called "Vision 1" with HD+ IPS waterdrop display and big battery at Rs 5,499 in India. Wikimedia Commons

itel, the leading smartphone brand from Transsion India on Monday launched a category disruptor called “Vision 1” with HD+ IPS waterdrop display and big battery at Rs 5,499 in India.

The Vision 1 comes packed with free itel Bluetooth wireless headset worth Rs 799 from its recently launched accessories portfolio and also an instant cashback offer of Rs 2,200+25GB additional data from Reliance Jio, all together at Rs 5,499, the company said.

Other features of the phone include 15.46cm (6.088-inch) HD+ IPS waterdrop with incell technology and 2.5D curved fully laminated display and 4000mAh high capacity battery, among others. The phone comes with 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage expandable up to 128GB.

The phone brings the power of enhanced Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered dual camera, dual security features includingmultifunctional fingerprint sensor and face unlock, dual active 4G VoLTE and VoWifi support.

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Features of the itel phone include 15.46cm (6.088-inch) HD+ IPS waterdrop with incell technology and 2.5D curved fully laminated display and 4000mAh high capacity battery, among others. (Representational Image). Pixabay

“Since the brand launch in India in 2016, itel has come a long way and has established itself as the leader in less than 5K segment as per Q3 and Q4 Counterpoint Reports of 2019. This remarkable success in a short span is a testimony of itel’s magical product portfolio, that is based on the needs and demands of customers, backed by extensive market research,” Arijeet Talapatra, CEO, Transsion Holdings India, said in a statement.

Featuring a sleek 8.5 mm design, itel Vision 1 is topped with 500 nits brighter screen for higher transmittance that provides an extra glow to the outdoor viewing experience. It is further adorned with 19:5:9 aspect ratio and 1560×720 resolution for immersive and cinematic video viewing.

itel said Vision 1 provides with 820 hours standby, 24 hours’ average usage, 45 hours of playing music, 8 hours of playing video and 7 hours of gaming. The smartphone comes equipped with 8MP + 0.08MP AI dual rear camera with flashlight, configured in a unique camera deco design, adding to the premium look and feel.

The camera has AI beauty mode, portrait mode, HDR, that helps in smart recognition, automatic adjustments of the camera effects, capturing sharper objects with greater details.

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The front 5MP selfie camera with AI beauty mode houses flashlight to ensure bright and clear selfie, even in low-light areas. Running on the latest Android Pie 9 OS, Vision 1 is powered with 1.6GHz octa-core processor for seamless multitasking functionality. (IANS)