Newborn screening urged for sickle cell disease - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Newborn screening urged for sickle cell disease

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois health officials are reminding families about ways to reduce the impact of sickle cell disease.

September is National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says newborn screening, parental education and comprehensive care can help.

Sickle cell primarily affects people of African and Mediterranean ancestry. It's also prevalent in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The state health agency has diagnosed more than 2,900 newborns with sickle cell disease since 1989.

State health officials work with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois to provide community-based support, counseling and education to patients and families of infants who test positive or are at risk for sickle cell disease.

The Illinois Sickle Cell Action Network connects families, regardless of insurance status, with specialty health care providers.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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