Bubble Boy Disease

Posted Monday --- January 7, 2008 -- 1:00pm

Statewide screening for 'bubble boy' disease begins

(AP) -- Statewide screening of newborns for 'bubble boy' disease started this month.

Wisconsin is first in the nation to add screening for the potentially deadly immune system disorder.

The state Laboratory of Hygiene and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin began experimental testing last year. The success of the experiment led to the expanded testing program.

Doctors say the disease can be cured with a bone marrow transplant if diagnosed within the first weeks or months of a child's life.

The state now tests for 48 disorders. The federal government's recommendation is 29.

An estimated 40 to 100 babies in the U.S. are diagnosed with the disease each year. The best-known victim is Houston's "bubble boy" who lived in a germ-proof enclosure until his death at age 12 in 1984.

AP


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