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Congenital Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is a common viral infection and the leading non-genetic cause of hearing loss in infants born in the United States. All pregnant women are at risk of becoming infected, however less than 10% of women know about CMV. Becoming infected with CMV during a pregnancy can cause serious side effects to unborn children but is preventable with good hygiene habits.
CMV is a common virus which is typically harmless to healthy children and adults. It can cause cold-like symptoms such as sore throat, fever, fatigue and swollen glands. Most people don’t realize they have been infected with CMV. Once infected, people carry the CMV virus throughout their lives.
The CMV virus is very common in home and daycare settings. It is spread through contact with infected bodily fluids such as saliva, tears, urine and blood. Many babies and toddlers will catch CMV from their peers and show only mild symptoms of illness. However, these otherwise healthy children may then pass the virus on to their pregnant mothers.
The CMV virus is most dangerous to the unborn child. Birth defects can occur when a woman becomes infected during pregnancy and passes the virus to her unborn child. All pregnant women are at risk of catching CMV. Pregnant women who interact with young children may be at greater risk and should take precautions to prevent infection.
The best way to prevent CMV during pregnancy is to practice good hygiene habits. Women who are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, should practice these simple tips to reduce the chance of CMV infection.
To avoid saliva, kiss children and adults on the cheek or forehead.
Do not put a pacifier in your mouth.
Do not share food, utensils, drinks or straws.
Do not share a toothbrush.
Wash your hands after wiping a nose and changing a diaper.
Clean toys, countertops, and other surfaces that come into contact with children’s saliva or urine.
The Nevada Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program, part of the Nevada Division of Public Behavioral Health, is here to help you learn how to protect yourself from catching CMV while you are pregnant. Contact us below to find the resources your need.
Are you interested in being part of a CMV support network?
Contact us to submit your life experiences of having a loved one diagnosed with congenital CMV. Confidentiality ensured.
You will be added to the Nevada CMV directory to receive future resources, updates, and informational communications.
Learning about congenital CMV, or any of its wide-ranging developmental diagnoses, often presents a range of challenges for both the child and his or her family members. These are a few of the resources available to you and your family.
Works to educate women of childbearing age about congenital CMV
CDC aims to reduce the burden of congenital CMV by conducting research and increasing awareness of CMV among public and healthcare providers.
Works to enhance the educational services provided to children and youth with vision and hearing impairments.
What Women Should Know About Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Works to provide research on the biology, epidemiology, clinical manifestations, methods to diagnose, treat, and prevent congenital CMV as well as to raise public awareness.
For ongoing or long-term health issues, this list of resources may be of help.