2-month-old boy suffers from rare genetic disease in South Africa

Posted By: PTI
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Johannesburg, Aug 5: A two-month-old boy born to South African-Indian origin parents has inherited a rare genetic disease that makes his skin peel off with the slightest of touch.

Aboobaker is suffering from 'epidermolysis bullosa', a rare skin disease affecting only one in 50,000 births. The child's parents Nazmeera and Arashad Akbar said that the child was born with only one layer of skin.

Baby: Representational Image

They have to handle the infant with utmost care, with the parents picking up the child by placing a cotton pillow over their hands.

Even rubbing his own hands or feet over other parts of his body as he plays leave open wounds which are susceptible to infection, they lamented.

Professor Jamila Aboobaker, retired head of dermatology at University of KwaZulu-Natal's (UKZN) Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, said that the disease can vary from being mild to fatal, affecting mainly hands and feet.

She stated that survival is possible in the case, if the child is handled with extreme care. Nazmeera said that her baby inherited the disease as she learnt from her mother that she had a brother who died just six weeks after he was born with the same affliction.

The parents noted that neither the doctors nor they themselves went for the prenatal tests, as the condition was a rare one.

In spite of the concern that they might loose their child at a very young age, the couple expressed hope after meeting a woman in her 20's suffering from the similar disease.


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