The news of an unusual alien-like baby born in China has received an intensive coverage in the media recently. Ms. Li Hui-Ying, a village from China’s Jiangxi Province, gave birth to a boy with frog’s eyes. The baby also had big bumps on his head and even a small tail on his bottom. The boy does not have any eating, drinking or sleeping disorders, but his parents still try to bring him to treat in the hospital. However, all the hospitals that the parents have been to so far refuse to accept the weird patient claiming that they have never had such an unusual incident in their experience.
Another shocking incident took place in Malaysia not so long ago. A woman gave birth to a baby with its eyes turned inside out. The baby has no ears and no nose, has hooves instead of hands. There can be no words found to describe the sufferings of the poor baby. Click here to see the video
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Such terrible abnormalities can be explained with the phenomenon known as Harlequin Ichthyosis. It is a skin disease, is the most severe form of congenital ichthyosis, characterized by a thickening of the keratin layer in fetal human skin. In sufferers of the disease, the skin contains massive, diamond-shaped scales, and tends to have a reddish color. In addition, the eyes, ears, mouth, and other appendages may be abnormally contracted. The scaly keratin greatly limits the child's movement. Because the skin is cracked where normal skin would fold, it is easily pregnable by bacteria and other contaminants, resulting in serious risk of fatal infection.
Sufferers are known as harlequin fetuses, harlequin babies, or harlequins.
The harlequin-type designation comes from both the baby's apparent facial expression and the diamond-shape of the scales (resembling the costume of Arlecchino), which are caused by severe hyperkeratosis. The disease can be diagnosed in the uterus by way of fetal skin biopsy or by morphologic analysis of amniotic fluid cells obtained by amniocentesis. In addition, doctors can now usually recognize common features of the disease through ultrasound, and follow up with 3D ultrasound to diagnose the condition.
In the past, the disorder was invariably fatal, whether due to dehydration, infection (sepsis), restricted breathing due to the plating, or other related causes. The most common cause of death was systemic infection and sufferers rarely survived for more than a few days. However, there have been improvements in care, most notably the drug Isotrex. Some patients have survived into adolescence and, in very rare cases, lived to adulthood
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