I am the Congenital CMV Foundation parent representative and author of Anything But a Dog! The perfect pet for a girl with congenital CMV. I live in Mystic would love to come on your show to discuss the
#1 birth defects virus, cytomegalovirus (CMV), which causes more disabilities than Down syndrome. Most women don’t know how to prevent it.
See my short interview about my daughter, CMV, and her dog on this USA 9 News clip filmed several years ago in the DC area.
Connecticut is now proposing House Bill 5147, which includes CMV education. It’s too late for my daughter Elizabeth who was born severely disabled by the virus, but I hope the public will support the bill along with a Yale professor, other medical professionals, and parents. A similar bill was passed in Utah.
Less than half of OB/GYNs surveyed said they counseled their patients on how to prevent CMV infection, despite these U.S. statistics from the CDC:
•Congenital CMV causes one child to become disabled every hour.
•About 1 in 150 children is born with congenital CMV infection each year (approximately 30,000).
OB/GYNs didn’t tell me how to prevent CMV until after Elizabeth was born. Then I learned those working in daycare, or have a child in daycare, are at a higher risk for catching it as preschoolers are the majority of carriers. Mothers must wash their hands after handling toys and should not kiss their toddlers around the mouth. While I was pregnant, I had a toddler plus ran a licensed daycare center. In milder cases, children may lose hearing or struggle with learning. But Elizabeth's case was not a mild one. She died at 16.
My humorous and historical adventure guide, Mystic Seafarer's Trail, also includes a congenital CMV prevention message.
I can probably get Dr. Brenda K. Balch, MD, to come on the show with me. She is CT’s AAP EHDI (Early Hearing Detection & Intervention) Chapter Champion who has a strong interest in CMV as congenital CMV is a major cause of hearing loss.