Thursday, August 3, 2017

Child with Congenital CMV in Your Childcare Center? What to tell your staff

Are you a childcare provider being asked to care for a child born with congenital CMV? 
Not sure what to tell your staff? 

Click on the following National CMV Foundation  flyer,  "Should you exclude a child born with CMV?" for an answer to this question and read below for more information. According to the flyer (which also includes prevention tips): "Most children born with congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus) will shed, or release, the virus in their body fluids throughout their toddler and preschool years. However, CMV is a very common childhood virus, affecting 70 percent of healthy children between 1 and 3 years of age... According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), screening of children for CMV infection is not recommended, and infected children should not be excluded from school or other settings. Children born with congenital CMV pose no threat to their peers and no more of a threat to those at risk for CMV infection (ie. pregnant women) than would any other child." 

If a child is  KNOWN to be excreting the virus, this is what was posted in a newsletter by the Congenital CMV Disease Research Clinic & Registry:

Q. "There are pregnant teachers and other care givers at our school who work closely with children known to have CMV infection. For their safety, should these employees be relieved from their duties in caring for these children?"

A: “Changing the duties of a teacher or care giver from children known to have CMV infection to other children may not reduce their risk of acquiring CMV. It is a common virus in all children. In fact, studies reveal that between 30 and 80% of children between the ages of 1-3 years of age who attend some form of group care are excreting CMV. In this setting transmission of CMV is usually transmitted from child-to-child by direct contact with bodily fluids such as saliva or urine. It also may be transmitted to care givers. Therefore it is wise for care givers in this type of setting to be aware of CMV and consider knowing their CMV antibody status. If results are negative, they are susceptible to catching CMV for the first time and it is a potential risk to the fetus if they are pregnant. On the other hand, if results of a CMV antibody titer (IgG) is positive, they have already acquired CMV at some time in their life and their risk is greatly reduced. Additionally, it is important for all care givers to practice good hygienic measures. This is achieved by hand washing with soap and water, especially after diaper changes and any contact with a child's bodily fluids. Kissing and sharing food or drink also should be avoided.” 

Childcare staff: 
You need to assume ALL young children are shedding CMV because between 44% to 100% of toddlers were shedding the virus in the study, “Group day care and cytomegaloviral infections of mothers and children.” Toddlers can shed CMV for many months in their saliva, urine and other bodily fluids. 

Pregnant child care givers need to be diligent about sanitizing surfaces used by toddlers and washing their hands after direct contact with bodily fluids. Licensed childcare facilities have hygiene protocols in place. 

The following article by me was written for caregivers and published by ChildCare Aware: 

If you have any more questions, please let me know.

Lisa Saunders, former licensed daycare provider
Parent Rep., Congenital Cytomegalovirus Foundation