Thalassemia is an inherited, autosomal-recessive blood disorder affecting the production of normal hemoglobin within the body. A child inherits thalassemia from both the parents who are carriers (who carry the thalassemia gene but are healthy). The child inheriting the two defective genes is termed "thalassemia major" where he/she will not be able to produce sufficient quantity of hemoglobin thereby requiring lifelong blood transfusions, iron chelation and other therapies to stay alive. The only available cure at present is a matched bone marrow transplant usually done within 10 years of age.
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