Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder. It affects how hemoglobin is made. Beta thalassemia or Cooley’s anemia is caused by mutations in the beta chain of the hemoglobin molecule. There is one beta chain gene on each 11th chromosome, for a total of two. How these genes are altered determines the specific type of beta thalassemia in a child.
Beta thalassemia is a genetic disease that is inherited from one or both parents. The only risk factor is a family history of the disease. Children born with beta thalassemia major will have symptoms early in life including: Being pale, Fussy Having a poor appetite, Having many infections. Thalassemia intermedia cause symptoms of moderate to severe anemia including: Fatigue, Paleness, Slow or delayed growth, Weak bones, Enlarged spleen.