The strange case of the Fugate family: they reproduced each other and had blue skin

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USA It is the setting of this particular, but also strange story that has as its protagonist a family, the Fugates, who from the first decades of the 19th century decided to isolate themselves from the world in the mountainous areas of Kentucky, they mixed with each other and, as a result of this In addition to a recessive gene, it produced offspring with rare blue skin pigmentation. The history of this surname went viral in the social networks.

This story begins in 1820, when Martin Fugate, married to Elisabeth Smith, decided to settle in the creek area Troublesome Creek, in the Appalachian Mountains. In this area, the couple had their seven children, four of whom were born with something unusual: blue skin.

Far from being interested in understanding the reason for this rare pigmentation, Fugate They dedicated themselves to leading their lives in the most normal way possible, and it was so because their years of existence, it is known, were not only long, but also brimming with great health.

However, this did not go unnoticed by the residents of the area, who were extremely concerned about the blue color of the skin of the children of the Fugate couple. This caused the family to decide to isolate itself even more, cutting off contact with other people.

The case of this family went unnoticed for more than a century, until, in 1958, a blue-skinned subject was admitted to Kentucky University Hospital, Washington DC, seeking help because his wife was about to give birth. When noticing the blue coloration of his body, the medical personnel were perplexed.

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Doctors performed tests on Luke Comb, but he confessed that he was not there to be cared for by his skin, but by his wife. Despite this, the subject underwent a full examination.

The tests showed that Comb was in complete good mental and physical health.. However, this did not stop the doctors from being intrigued by the blue color of the skin.

However, blood tests revealed that the origin of this has as its protagonist a disease called methemoglobin, a very rare disorder that causes hemoglobin to transport oxygen, but is not able to release it effectively in the tissues of the body, the direct consequence of which is that the color of the skin is similar to hypothermic states.

Luke Comb spoke at that time with him hospital hematologist, Madison Cawein III, where he revealed to the specialist that he was not the only one with blue skin in his family and that this dated back several decades.

During the story, the doctor Cawein III knew that the ancestors of Comb they settled in Troublesome Creek in 1820, which was a very desolate place in eastern Kentucky at the time.

But why did this happen? After conducting the respective investigations, it was learned that, when the Fugate They decided to isolate themselves from the world and practiced inbreeding, a fact that caused the alteration of the blood, leading to the blue color of their offspring.

The practice of inbreeding in the FugateIn other words, generating offspring with people of the same race, caste, social condition or community, caused the condition that caused blue skin to be transferred in a consanguineous way, a fact that was replicated generation after generation.

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