COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA/WBTW) – A new bill signed into law will expand genetic testing for newborns in South Carolina.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaste signed the bill Monday at the Greenwood Genetic Center in Greenwood, South Carolina, News13’s sister station WSPA reports.
The new law will add Krabbe Disease, Pompe Disease and Hurler Syndrome to the list of 53 diseases that are screened in newborns in South Carolina.
This comes a year after 11-month-old Dylan Emery, from Greenwood, died from a rare genetic disorder called Krabbe Disease.
That tragedy sparked a response from Greenwood representative John Mcravy, who said South Carolina previously did not test for Krabbe Disease and that testing is critical for those affected, because after 4 weeks it’s too late to do treatment.
Babies don’t typically show symptoms of the neurological disease until they are two months old, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Lawmakers hope this new legislation will help other families catch rare genetic disorders while there’s still time to seek treatment.
The law is effective immediately, but lawmakers will have to work money into the budget for the equipment needed to test for those three diseases.
The state Department of Health and Environmental Control says the state has allocated an extra $53,000 in this year’s budget to start the process.