For infants with SCID, even common colds can become deadly. SCID prevents their immune systems from developing properly. The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDHC) reported that untreated babies rarely live beyond one year.
The MDHC also reported that SCID and other immunodeficiency disorders are so rare that most doctors do not know how to treat them properly, if they are left undetected. By screening infants, this problem will be reduced.
"Improving infant mortality in Michigan is a top priority for MDCH," said Olga Dazzo, Director for the MDCH. "Adding SCID to the newborn screening panel aligns Michigan's program with national standards and allows for a brighter future for Michigan infants and families."
Michigan is one of three states beginning the SCID screening process this month, along with Colorado and Connecticut.
Babies diagnosed before they are three months old have a better chance of being cured by a bone marrow transplant, according to MDCH.
Not only does the screening have the possibility to save lives, but it may also save the state money. If an infant is on Medicaid, and SCID is diagnosed after the first three months of life, it can cost the state millions of dollars for treatment, and there is no guarantee of the treatment working, according to WTSP News.
This new screening procedure will cost around $7 per test, raising the price of infant screening from $87.03 to $97.69, according to MLive.