Giving Newborns The Right Start

Las Cruces – The New Mexico Department of Health has recognized hospitals statewide, including Mountain View Regional in Las Cruces, for efforts to vaccinate newborns for hepatitis B.

Health official Diane Jay says infants infected with hepatitis B virus around the time of birth have a 90 percent risk of chronic infection.

She says up to 25 percent will die of chronic liver disease as adults.

The Health Department recognizes hospitals every two years for their efforts to ensure that newborns receive the vaccine.

Hospitals honored were Presbyterian and University of New Mexico hospitals in Albuquerque, Miners' Colfax Medical Center in Raton, Los Alamos Medical Center, Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis, Eastern New Mexico Medical Center in Roswell, Mountain View Regional Medical Center in Las Cruces and Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.