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Human torch’ baby tests normal, doctors stumped

Discussion in 'Business, Lifestyle & Leisure' started by kds1980, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    CHENNAI/PUDUCHERRY: Is a 50-day-old boy from a village in Tamil Nadu a 21st century victim of a phenomenon widely accepted in the 1800s but since dismissed by experts?

    Adding to the medical mystery that doctors confront with Rahul, whose parents claim has suddenly "caught fire" at least four times since he was born, results of preliminary tests released on Monday showed no abnormality — or any reason for the child to suffer from recurring bouts of spontaneous combustion.

    Doctors at Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital, who are treating the child, conducted a series of tests to check Rahul's vital functions. "We received some of the test results and the baby's liver and kidneys seem to be fine. X-ray results show no damage to his bones," said paediatrician Dr Narayana Babu.

    The baby's blood, urine and sweat samples are also being analysed to check for any toxic substance, Dr Babu said. "We'll get the results from a chromosome test by the end of the week," he added.

    Rahul, of T Parangani in Villupuram district, has been undergoing treatment at the hospital in Chennai since Friday. Reports of his condition have generated a debate among doctors on spontaneous human combustion, with some stating that it is a possibility and others completely rejecting the theory.

    Superstitious residents of the village where the family lives believe that the baby is possessed by evil spirits. A group of residents of T Parangani had directed the baby's parents, P Karna and Rajeshwari, to leave the village and stay in a temple till the baby is "cured". Rajeshwari took Rahul to a temple in a nearby hamlet, Brammadesam, on August 5 and stayed there till officials in the district decided to move the baby to Chennai for better medical care.

    Rahul's grandfather, V Perumal, 75, said his son and daughter-in-law, both manual workers, came to the village with the baby in the third week of July.

    "My son said the baby caught fire twice when they were staying with Rajeshwari's parents," Perumal said. "I used to stay awake till 4am looking after the baby and then my wife would wake up and take over. One night, within three days of their visit, we heard the baby scream and we found a sheet near the baby on fire. Fire soon engulfed the baby's head and neck. We doused it with water."

    Perumal's wife Ponamma said their hut caught fire on July 30, making the villagers panic. "The villagers asked the parents to take the baby to a temple. None of the villagers gave us accommodation. We spent that night in the rain as the thatched roof was gutted," Ponamma said.

    The elderly couple denied charges of child abuse. "How could we torture our grandson?" Ponamma asked. "The baby's parents too would not do him any harm." Police said they did not receive any complaint of child abuse. "We have not received any complaints or direction from the government to probe whether it is a case of child abuse," said Villupuram superintendent of police S Manoharan.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...rmal-doctors-stumped/articleshow/21791616.cms
     
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