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Hundreds of people in a Brazilian village are forced to remain indoors, due to a severe reaction to sunlight which causes their skin to burn away.
The streets of Araras in the state of Sao Paolo often resemble a ghost town, with villagers only surfacing at night because of the potentially fatal disorder.
Out of the 800 people who live in the village, 600 are affected by Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), a genetic disorder in which the skin is unable to repair damage caused by ultraviolet light, making any exposure to the sun highly dangerous.
Twenty of the villagers have full-blown symptoms, which makes them susceptible to an aggressive form of skin cancer.
Villager Djalma Jardin's face was ravaged by the disease, leaving him with just one eye.
It also left him unable to close his eye when going to sleep because of damage to his eyelid.
Djalma said: "If I go out I feel the sun burning me.
"I go to bed and wake up the next day with a small spot, and then in a couple of days it's growing quickly, like the one I got in my eye which never stopped growing.
"It's an awful disease, terrible.
"When I want to sleep I have to put a plaster over my eye."
Sadly, following the interview earlier this year, Djalma's condition worsened and the illness cost him his life.
The family has already lost another brother to XP. Another of Djalma's brothers and his sister Claudia, are also affected by it.
Dairy farmer Deide has also lost much of his face to the incurable condition, and said: "I had surgery to remove the palate and the right jawbone.
"Without the prosthesis I couldn't talk."
Araras store owner Gleice Machado was keen to find out what was causing the epidemic, after seeing so many of those affected coming through her doors.
She said: "I had no idea what it was and why they were disfigured.
"Some believed it was an STD. Others said they believed this was a punishment from God."
Gleice raised awareness of the condition through the local press, until the story was picked up by the national media.
Sao Paulo-based genetics biologist Dr Carlos Menck recognised the condition, and was keen to know why it was so rampant in the village.
He said: "We went to the area and tried to identify genetic mutations affecting the patients.
"Until not long ago, people believed it was a contagious disease. But it's an inherited disease."
After running tests on all of the villagers, Dr Menck and his team discovered 600 of the 800 villagers were carrying a recessive XP gene.
It could be traced back to the families of three Portuguese settlers.
Dermatologist Sulamita Chaibub said: "In Araras there is a concentration of people with the faulty gene who keep marrying each other, so the gene becomes dominant and the disease appears."
There is no cure for XP but doctors have now warned villagers to stay completely out of the sun, and it is hoped this will save many lives.
Dr Carlos Menck said: "It is not possible to cure them immediately. But I hope perhaps in the future, maybe in 20 or 30 years time."
The story of Araras village features in a new series of Body Bizarre on Thursday August 20, 9pm, on TLC.