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neural-tube defects

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Washington state health officials say they’ll start telling families who’ve lost babies to a devastating birth-defects cluster about genetic studies aimed at decoding possible causes.

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Washington state Medicaid officials are changing the rule for coverage of vitamins that contain folic acid — a change that may reduce the risk of birth defects like those seen in an ongoing cluster in Central Washington.

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Washington is among 33 states that don’t have active birth-defects surveillance systems to track problems. It took an astute nurse to raise warnings about a cluster of rare and fatal defects in Central Washington.

Picture of JoNel  Aleccia

The Food and Drug Administration will review a long-delayed petition calling for the voluntary addition of folic acid to corn masa to prevent neural-tube defects such as those seen in Washington’s cluster.

Picture of JoNel  Aleccia

More than 40 mothers have lost babies to a rare and deadly birth defect in three counties in central Washington state since 2010, but the cause remains unknown. Why haven’t health officials and lawmakers done more to find answers?

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