World Sickle Cell Day 2020: Know The Types, Symptoms, Causes And Treatment – NDTV

Posted: June 22, 2020 at 3:46 am

2020 World Sickle Cell Day: Symptoms of sickle cell can appear around 5 months of age

World Sickle Cell Day is observed on June 19. The day is meant to raise awareness about sickle cell disease, which is a group of disorders that affect haemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells which deliver oxygen to cells throughout the body. People with this disorder have haemoglobin S, an atypical haemoglobin molecule which can distort red blood cells into a sickle or a crescent shape. This disease is a blood disorder which is inherited and passed down from parents to the child. In 2008, the UN General Assembly recognised sickle cell disease as a public health problem, and one of the world's foremost genetic diseases.

Symptoms of sickle cell disease usually appear around five months of age. The symptoms vary from person to person and change over time.

Symptoms of sickle cell disease can appear from two to five months of age. But in milder cases, the symptoms may appear till teenage.

Sickle cell disease can cause vision problemsPhoto Credit: iStock

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One can get infected with sickle cell disease if both parents have the problem gene and pass it on to their child.

1. HbSS or sickle cell anemia is a severe kind of sickle cell disease. It occurs when child inherits sickle cell gene from each parent.

2. HbSc occurs when one parents has sickle cell gene and the other has a gene from abnormal haemoglobin.

3. Hbs beta thalassemia occurs when sickle cell gene is passed from one parent, and beta-thalassemia is passed on from the other.

If only one parent has the problem gene, then the child will not have symptoms but will have the gene known as sickle cell trait.

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Sickle cell can be detected in an infant during newborn screening process. In case of family history, it can be detected during pregnancy.

Bone marrow or stem cell transplant is the only permanent cure for sickle cell disease. Early detection and timely treatment can help in managing symptoms, offer relief from pain and prevent severe complications.

Apart from stem cell transplant, the symptoms can be managed with the help of periodic blood transfusion, pain killers, vaccinations and antibiotics.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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