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The report of the birth of a ‘demon baby’ in Assam, which went viral last year since July, turned out to be a hoax and a rare skin condition called Harlequin Ichthyosis.

“The baby’s mother died during childbirth and the nurse who took care of it after birth also died within three hours of touching it,” the viral message read.

There was no mention of any particular location as to where the baby was born.

The viral social media message also did not mention anything about the identity of the baby’s parents or where were they from.

A detailed fact check by the Altnews however, confirmed the reports to be a hoax and clarified that the baby was actually suffering from a rare disease called Harlequin Ichthyosis.

“The condition, which is a result of a faulty gene, is said to affect one in a million,” Altnews reported.

“It affects the rate at which the skin regenerates, meaning that old dry skin cells either take longer to shed, or new cells are reproduced too quickly, causing a build-up of thick skin,” the report added.

“Large scaly plates then form, separated by deep cracks, which is where it gets the name. The symptoms usually appear at birth or within the first year of birth,” the report added.

The online media group further reported that the case in Assam is not the only one that took place in recent times.

“A farmer couple in Vidarbha of Maharastra gave birth to a Harlequin baby in June 2016. The child reportedly died after struggling for life for two days,” Altnews added.

“There are reports of such birth at Patna in Bihar in 2017 and also one such birth reported from New Delhi in 2019,” Altnews reiterated.

Although there is no cure for the disease yet higher survival rate can be achieved through intense neonatal care and advanced technology.


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