Gov. Ducey signs bill that will add SCID testing to newborn screening panel

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Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill adding SCID testing to Arizona. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill adding SCID testing to Arizona. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation this week that will allow the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Public Health Laboratory to test for severe combined immunodeficiency or SCID.

The disease is a rare, genetic disorder that can be fatal if not detected and treated in a newborn according to DHS.

“This practical policy puts Arizona infants on the right track to a healthy start in life,” said Gov. Ducey in a news release. “Empowering our state lab to test for this treatable genetic disorder will save and improve the lives of people across Arizona.”

This screening capability is expected to be added to the department's newborn screening panel in August.

SCID can affect a child’s immune system and occurs most commonly in Athabascan Native American populations at a rate of one in 2,500, said DHS.

Classic systems are recurrent severe infections, chronic diarrhea and failure to thrive. It can lead to early death from overwhelming infection.

“The good news is SCID is treatable when detected early through newborn screening,” said DHS director Dr. Cara Christ in a news release. “Most diagnosed patients make a full recovery with early intervention.”

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