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State Doesn’t Require Newborn Defect Screening

Associated Press - August 4, 2014 7:10 am

State health officials say a man from Republic County has the first reported case of West Nile virus in Kansas this year.

State health officials say a man from Republic County has the first reported case of West Nile virus in Kansas this year.

Kansas is one of 10 states that don’t require newborns be screened for a critical heart problem, but state health officials have been working to educate health care providers about the benefits of the testing.

Despite not being required to, most hospitals and birthing facilities in Kansas screen newborns for critical congenital heart disease. But about a third, mostly in rural areas that don’t have a lot of births, do not provide the screening.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment employees have been traveling across the state to train doctors and nurses to perform the screening and raise awareness about its importance.

Some advocates for screening, however, say the state should mandate the testing, which costs about $4 per test.

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Associated Press information from: the Lawrence Journal-World

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