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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Sets August 14 Deadline to Sign up for JAK2 Testing

Schuylkil County, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania

Monday, August 10, 2009

ATLANTA - Due to the greater than expected response to the offer of testing, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will schedule appointments for a second round of JAK2 screening through Friday, August 14, 2009.  ATSDR scheduled this second round of testing, to take place in the fall, after all of the available appointments in August had been filled.  Residents of Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill Counties should call 1-877-525-4860 by Friday to schedule a fall appointment for a JAK2 screening.

In early July, ATSDR announced that the agency would make free JAK2 testing available to local residents after earlier surveys had found a higher-than-expected number of cases of the blood disorder Polycythemia Vera (PV) in the tri-county area.  The JAK2 genetic mutation is known to be present in more than 95% of PV patients.  Currently, experts do not know if the JAK2 mutation always leads to PV or other blood diseases, nor do they know how long it takes after the mutation first appears for PV to develop.

Once the two rounds of JAK2 testing are completed, ATSDR will contact those who were tested to provide them with their test results.  ATSDR will also review all of the test findings to determine whether additional rounds of testing are needed.  If ATSDR determines that JAK2 testing should continue, the agency will work with state and local health officials to ensure the community is informed about the testing.

Residents with comments or questions about the JAK2 screening or other PV research projects should call ATSDR toll-free at 1-866-448-0242.

ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.

Media can request an interview by calling the ATSDR Office of Communication at 770-488-0700.

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