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Fatal Birth Defects Prevalent in Three Washington Counties

OPB | May 15, 2014 12:30 p.m. | Updated: May 15, 2014 3:08 p.m.

A preponderance of birth defects in Eastern and Central Washington has parents worried and health officials baffled. Between January 2010 and January 2013, there were 23 babies born with a fatal condition known as anencephaly in Benton, Yakima, and Franklin counties. The cause is still unclear, but the condition is rare enough that the numbers seem unusually high.

State health officials have been holding listening sessions to try to gather information from the public in an ongoing effort to discover the cause of the birth defects.

We’ll hear from Washington state epidemiologist Juliet Van Eenwyk about what’s next in the state’s investigation.


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