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Newborn screening for Cystic Fibrosis: a vital first test

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May was National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, but it’s never a bad time to be mindful of the condition that affects approximately one in 2,500 to one in 3,500 Caucasian newborns. Cystic fibrosis causes thick, sticky mucus to build up and impact certain organs such as the lungs and pancreas. To facilitate early treatment and minimize symptoms, all infants in Wisconsin are tested for cystic fibrosis during their newborn screenings.

Newborn screening, a test that reaches each of the more than four million babies born in the United States every year, is coordinated on the state level by the public health department. It ensures that all babies are screened for certain serious conditions at birth, and it allows providers to immediately start treatment for babies who are identified with a condition. This testing is important because many babies born with one of the testable conditions may not initially look or act differently, so parents and providers may not otherwise know there is a reason to be concerned. The sooner a condition is caught, the more proactive providers can be with treatment. Continue Reading »

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