Cytomegalovirus (cCMV) Fact Sheet* For Policy Makers
Congenital Cytomegalovirus (cCMV) Fact Sheet* For Policy Makers
What is cytomegalovirus (CMV)?
Between 50% and 80% of adults in the U.S. are infected with CMV by 40 years of age. It is the leading birth defects virus passed from mother to unborn baby. Congenital (meaning present at birth) CMV can cause disabilities in unborn babies such as hearing loss, mental impairment, and cerebral palsy. Disabilities from congenital CMV "exceeds those from the fetal alcohol syndrome, spina bifida, and childhood infections..."(Boppana and Fowler, 2017). About 1 out of 750 (or .1%) babies are born permanently disabled by congenital CMV. According to the CDC:
- · Wash hands often with soap and water for 15-20 seconds, especially after wiping runny noses, changing diapers, picking up toys, etc. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.
- · Use soap and water or a disinfectant to clean hard surfaces that have been contaminated by secretions.
- · Don’t kiss young children on the lips or share food, drinks, or eating utensils with them.
- Fewer than half (44%) of OB/GYNs surveyed reported counseling their patients about preventing CMV infection.
- Don’t want to frighten their patients: "The list of things we're supposed to talk about during women's first visit could easily take two hours and scare them to death.” (OB/GYN quoted in FitPregnancy magazine, June/July '08).
- In 2015, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) stated that their patients will consider prevention guidelines difficult to implement—“especially if they are told not to kiss their toddlers on the mouth — a possible route of transmission.”(CMV Is a Greater Threat to Infants Than Zika, but Far Less Often Discussed, New York Times, 2016)