By the numbers: #1 birth defects virus--congenital CMV
Want a healthy baby? Want your friends to have one? Then know the numbers of congenital (present at birth) Cytomegalovirus (CMV), the #1 viral cause of birth defects. The New York Times states,"CMV is a Greater Threat to Infants Than Zika, but Far Less Often Discussed."
Mothers of toddlers in daycare and child care workers are at increased risk for contracting CMV.Congenital CMV by the Numbers:
- 1 out of 100 babies are born with congenital CMV.
- 1 out of 5 babies born with congenital CMV will be permanently disabled according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- 1 baby every hour is disabled by congenital CMV (cerebral palsy, mental impairment, hearing and vision loss, epilepsy).
- 8- 20% of female child care providers contract CMV infection every year.
- 1,260,600 work in child care according to the Department of Labor.
- 44% to 100% of two-year-olds in group daycare are excreting CMV.
- #1 Birth Defects Virus--Congenital CMV causes more disabilities than Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and Pediatric HIV/AIDS
- 91% of women surveyed in 2015-2016 have never heard of CMV.
- $1.9 billion annually, with an average cost per child of over $300,000 is the estimated expense to the US health care system in caring for babies born disabled by congenital CMV.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states: "Spread of CMV from an asymptomatic infected child in child care to his or her mother or to child care providers is the most important consequence of child care-related CMV infection." (Red Book: Infectious Diseases American Academy of Pediatrics, pp. 145, 2012)
Despite the above numbers, CMV prevention education is not part of a doctor's "standard of care," and in many states, CMV prevention education is not included on the Department of Health websites or in the required training for licensed daycare providers. This is because many people working for these agencies have never heard of congenital CMV (please tell them by directing them to the CDC website at: https://www.cdc.gov/cmv/clinical/features.html).
ASK YOUR LOCAL DAYCARE FACILITY AND HOUSE OF WORSHIP NURSERY IF THEY FOLLOW THESE RECOMMENDATIONS:
The American Academy of Pediatrics co-authored Standard 220.127.116.11: Staff Education and Policies on Cytomegalovirus (CMV), which states childcare workers of childbearing age should be informed about their increased probability of exposure to CMV and:
· Hygiene measures (especially handwashing and avoiding contact with urine, saliva, and nasal secretions) aimed at reducing acquisition of CMV;
· The availability of counseling and testing for serum antibody to CMV to determine the caregiver/teacher’s immune status...
- 10-25 % of babies born with asymptomatic congenital CMV will develop sensorineural hearing loss by age 18.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved from Congenital CMV Infection Trends and Statistics: http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/trends-stats.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (n.d.). Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Congenital CMV Infection. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/index.html
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