An 8-month-old refugee baby died of a rare form of acute leukemia in Heraklion, Crete, last Saturday. The parents brought the baby with chickenpox symptoms to the university hospital of the city. Doctors diagnosed chickenpox but also acute and aggressive form of myelogenous leukemia. The aggressive course of the illness did not allow medical intervention.
The baby girl was born in Istanbul, but during the pregnancy the family of Kurdish origin was still living in the war zone of Afrin in Syria.
The family arrived in Greece last November, are hosted in Heraklio in the framework of UNHCR program for refugees awaiting asylum. The parents have also a 3-year-old daughter.
The rare form of leukemia and its aggression suggests “most likely environmental reasons” and ” perhaps the use of chemical weapons that have fallen in Afrin,” some media note citing doctors.
The problem seems to have existed for the baby girl while still in her mother’s womb and the course of the illness did not allow medial intervention.
Genetic material has been reportedly sent to a specialized laboratory in Athens in order to shed light to the cause of the baby’s death.