11 more cases of babies born with deformed arms in France

A doctor touches the feet of a premature baby in a file photo. (Reuters)
Updated 31 October 2018

11 more cases of babies born with deformed arms in France

  • In an October 4 report, France's public health agency said it had found no "common exposure" to substances that could explain the deformities

PARIS: Eleven more cases of babies born with missing or malformed arms in France have come to light, the public health authority said Tuesday, adding to a medical phenomenon for which no cause has been found.
The 11 additional cases were identified through hospital records in the Ain area, near the Swiss border, between 2000 and 2014.
Ain is one of the three French "departments" or administrative areas where cases of the upper limb deformities have been registered, along with Brittany on the West coast and Loire-Atlantique, south of Brittany.
Last week, France's Health Minister Agnes Buzyn announced a new investigation into the birth defects of 14 babies born with stunted or missing arms since 2007, half of them in Ain.
In an October 4 report, France's public health agency said it had found no "common exposure" to substances that could explain the deformities.
While the cause of the defects are unknown, research has shown that exposure of the mother to certain chemicals or medication during the pregnancy can increase the risk.
Last week, Buzyn told French news channel LCI that environmental experts would join health experts in investigating the cases to try to shed light on the phenomenon.
In the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of babies around the world were born with missing or stunted limbs linked to the use of the drug thalidomide, which was used to treat nausea in pregnant women. It was banned in the 1960s.


School pupils among 12 dead in Slovak crash on ‘Road of Death’

Updated 13 November 2019

School pupils among 12 dead in Slovak crash on ‘Road of Death’

  • According to reports on Slovak commercial TV channel Markiza, the truck skidded and hit the bus from the side
  • Some 30 firefighters are at the scene to help the injured, while rescuers have deployed helicopters and sent in psychologists

BRATISLAVA: At least 12 people were killed, including four students, when a public bus carrying school pupils and a truck loaded with rocks and soil collided in mountainous western Slovakia on Wednesday, rescuers and officials said.
Officials said 20 people were hurt in the crash, which happened on the outskirts of the city of Nitra, a regional capital some 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Bratislava, around 1:00 p.m. local time (1200 GMT).
The section where the accident occurred is commonly referred to as the “Road of Death,” according to local media.
Images from the site showed the truck lying on its side and the bus wedged in a ditch, with a large amount of soil and rocks strewn on the road.
“Mostly teenagers, secondary grammar students, were aboard this regular bus line from Nitra to Jelenec,” Nitra fire brigade spokesman Michal Varga told AFP, adding that the truck was “fully loaded with rocks.”
He added that the cause of the crash was unknown.
The fire and rescue department said on its Facebook page that the toll was 12 dead and 20 injured.
Minister of Health Andrea Kalavska told journalists at the accident site that of those killed “at least four were underage.”
Interior Minister Denisa Sakova told the press at the scene that the truck was “probably overloaded.”
According to reports on Slovak commercial TV channel Markiza, the truck skidded and hit the bus from the side.
The bus serves as a regular line between Nitra and the village of Jelenec east of the city.
Rescuers at first put the number of dead at 13, before correcting the toll.
Some 30 firefighters are at the scene to help the injured, while rescuers have deployed helicopters and sent in psychologists.
They said rescue work was hampered by bad weather as Slovakia was hit by heavy rain on Wednesday, although there was no rain when the accident occurred.