A woman in West Bengal, India, gave birth to a baby with Mermaid Syndrome, or fused legs. Sadly, the newborn died just four hours after birth.
Muskura Bibi, 23 years old, bore a child with a rare condition called Sirenomelia, or Mermaid Syndrome, at the Chittaranjan Deva Sadan Hospital in Kolkata. The baby’s unusual features meant that the sex could not be identified due to the underdeveloped pelvis and the fused legs, Times Now reports.
According to doctors, lack of proper nutrition and incorrect blood circulation in the mother can cause this condition. It’s so rare that this is only the second documented case in India, and the fifth in the world. In 2016, a woman in Uttar Pradesh had given birth to a baby with the same syndrome, which survived for only ten minutes.
Dr. Sudip Saha, a child specialist at the hospital, said,
I had never seen such a baby before. It is the first case of Sirenomelia in the state and second in the country.
Sudip said that Bibi and her husband are a working couple and were unable to obtain access to proper medication, including a sonogram, due to poverty. They were made aware of their child’s condition only when Bibi delivered.
Sudip added, “The baby had a normal formation in upper part of the body but below the waist, its legs were fused together. The lower part was not developed completely.”
Sirenomelia is a very rare congenital developmental disorder known by the anomalies present in the lower limbs and spine. Infants who have this syndrome are born with a partial or complete fusion of the legs. Mermaid Syndrome happens in an estimate one out of every 100,000 live births, as rare as conjoined twins, although there are far less cases.
There is no certain cause of sirenomelia, so far. Bit researchers believe that environmental and genetic factors are involved. Babies born with the syndrome usually die within a day or two due to complications in organ developments and functions.