(HealthNewsDigest.com) - TOWSON, Md., July 8, 2014 -- With the recent addition of newborn screening for Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID) in New Jersey and Illinois, approximately two-thirds of all babies born in the U.S. will be screened for this deadly disease.
SCID is a primary immunodeficiency disease where affected infants lack the T-cells and antibody immunity that help fight infections from a wide array of viruses, bacteria and fungi, leaving these infants susceptible to serious, life-threatening infections. SCID is often referred to as the bubble boy disease after David Vetter, the young Texas boy who was born with SCID in 1971 and lived inside a protective plastic isolator for 12 years to prevent him from contracting life-threatening infections. Babies with SCID appear healthy at birth, but without early treatment within months of birth, most often by bone marrow transplant, these infants cannot survive. With SCID newborn screening and early detection, treatment in infants is nearing 100% efficacy. Without treatment, SCID is universally fatal.
States are steadily beginning to follow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2010 recommendation to make SCID a part of every state's screening panel. Illinois and New Jersey both added SCID to their newborn screening panels in June, bringing the number of states screening for SCID up to 21. "We must continue our advocacy and education to ensure that newborn screening for SCID is established in all 50 states so that all babies, no matter where they are born, have the chance at a normal, healthy life," remarks Marcia Boyle, President & Founder of Immune Deficiency Foundation.
The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) commends the states of Illinois and New Jersey for making this crucial decision showing that every life is worth saving. IDF continues to work tirelessly for universal newborn screening for SCID.
About the Immune Deficiency Foundation
The Immune Deficiency Foundation is the national patient organization dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of persons with primary immunodeficiency diseases through advocacy, education, and research.