What is CMV?
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus which can infect people of all ages. Most people who are infected show no signs or symptoms. A pregnant woman who is infected with CMV can pass the virus to her developing baby. When a baby is born with CMV infection, it is called congenital CMV (cCMV).
CMV can cause serious health problems for unborn babies.
CMV is Preventable!
You can reduce your risk of getting CMV and passing it to your unborn baby by avoiding certain behaviors and practicing good hand hygiene.
Best Practices While Pregnant
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 15-20 seconds, especially after the following activities:
- Changing diapers, especially wet diapers!
- Wiping a young child’s nose or drool.
- Feeding a young child.
- Handling children’s toys.
- Use separate cups, utensils, etc.
- Give kisses on the cheek or forehead.
- Do not share utensils or food.
- Do not share drinks or straws.
- Do not put a pacifier or binky in your mouth.
- Do not share a toothbrush.
- Do not give kisses on the mouth, especially to young children.
These practices cannot eliminate your risk of getting CMV but may lessen the chances.
Facts about cCMV
In the most severe cases of infection, cCMV can cause pregnancy loss or death of a child. About 1 out of every 200 babies is born with cCMV infection. About 1 out of every 5 babies with cCMV infection will have long-term health problems.
Long-Term Health Problems
Some babies with signs of cCMV infection at birth may have long-term health problems, such as:
- Hearing loss
- Developmental and motor delay
- Vision loss
- Small head (Microcephaly)
- Cerebral palsy
- Death (in rare cases)
Some babies without signs of cCMV infection at birth may later develop hearing loss, even if they pass their newborn hearing screening test and show no signs of hearing loss at birth.
Oklahoma Birth Defects Registry
Oklahoma State Department of Health
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
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