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News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

Washington State Health Officials Stumped by High Rate of Birth Defects

 A report released Tuesday by the Washington State Department of Health said that, since 2010, the neighboring counties of Yakima, Benton and Franklin have an unusually high number pregnancies affected by the birth defect anencephaly, which results in a newborns' brains being severely underdeveloped.

In the U.S., there are approximately one or two expected cases of anencephaly for every 10,000 annual births. However, in the three named Washington counties, with a total population of approximately 515,000, the health department found that there was an abnormally high number of cases reported from January 2010 to January 2013 with approximately eight cases of anencephaly for every 10,000 births.

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