Babies born without arms: Three possible new cases

Authorities investigate another suspected cluster

Another potential cluster of babies born without arms is being investigated, according to reports.

Three girls were born without arms between June and November 2016 within a 30km radius of Vitrolles, Bouches-du-Rhône, Le Parisien said.

Data concerning the latest cases, which follow apparently similar clusters in the Ain, Morbihan and Loire-Atlantique, has been forwarded to Santé Publique France.

The defect is known medically as transverse upper limb agenesis (agénésies transverses du membre supérieur (ATMS) in French), meaning a failure of an organ to develop during embryonic growth.

As reported in December, an eighth baby was born with the defect in a 17km area of the Ain.

The incidence of these malformations is estimated in France at 1.7 cases per 10,000 births, or about 150 cases per year - and experts are baffled by the clusters.

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