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New screening helps protect Washington babies

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Microbiology Techs diagnos samples

State health officials are now testing newborns for severe combined immunodeficiency.

SHORELINE– A new test rolled out with the new year will better protect newborns from the “bubble boy disease.”

State health officials will now check for the disorder known as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID.)

The test will be one of 28 diseases screened for by the Department of Health Newborn Screening Program. It’s estimated that one to two babies are born with the disease annually in Washington.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, early detection of the disease through newborn screening allows infants to receive bone marrow transplants or gene therapy before damage is caused by the disorder. Without treatment, a child with SCID is vulnerable to life-threatening infections during their first years of life.

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