Tragic ‘mermaid baby’ is born with lower body fused together and no genitalia

By Emily Joshu, health reporter for Dailymail.Com

01:00 on May 25, 2024, updated 01:00 on May 25, 2024

Baby in Tanzania born with lower body fused like a ‘mermaid’ in ultra rare case


A baby in Tanzania was born with his lower body fused like a “mermaid” in an ultra rare case.

The newborn, who weighed just over 4.5 pounds, lacked an arm or anal opening and also had ambiguous genitalia, making it difficult to assign a gender. The infant only lived about five minutes.

Doctors made the diagnosis of sirenomelia, or “mermaid syndrome,” which has only been recorded a few times.

The case was reported earlier this month in an American medical journal.

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Sirenomelia is almost always fatal, with only 1% of affected infants surviving more than a week after birth.

Doctors treating the baby called the disease “incompatible” with life due to “multiple defects in critical systems.”

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) states that the cause of sirenomelia is unclear and most cases occur randomly.

It is believed that the tissues do not grow or separate properly in the uterus, causing the lower extremities to fuse together.

The newborn’s mother, aged 22 and with no other children, was a rural farmer who had attended only two antenatal visits.

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

The mother reported no history of smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, or pesticide exposure.

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

One of the most famous sirenomelia was that of Milagros Cerron, a Peruvian girl nicknamed the “Little Mermaid” after her birth in 2004.
She lived to be 15 and died while waiting for a kidney transplant

Doctors did not perform any x-rays or post-mortem examinations “due to cultural taboos and restrictions on handling the deceased.” There was no laboratory capacity for genetic testing.

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

One of the most famous is that of Milagros Cerron, a young Peruvian girl nicknamed the “Little Mermaid” after her birth in 2004.

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

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

News Source :
Gn Health

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