Cytomegalovirus (pronounced sy-toe-MEG-a-low-vy-rus), or CMV, is a common virus that infects people of all ages. Congenital CMV (cCMV) is the leading non-genetic cause of childhood hearing loss, and the number one reason for birth defects caused by a virus. One in three children have CMV by the time they reach 5 years old, and up to 80% of adults have had it by the time they reach 40 years old. CMV causes little to no health issues in healthy adults and children.
When a baby is born with CMV infection (also known as congenital CMV or cCMV), families should be quickly connected for support and education. About one out of every 200 babies is born with a cCMV infection, affecting more babies than ALL of the current conditions screened for at birth combined. And yet…only 14% of women have heard of CMV. Pregnant women need to know how to protect themselves from this virus that is so common in young children.
We want to bring families experiencing CMV together for mutual education and support related to this complicated condition, while advocating for greater public education, prevention, and routine cCMV screening at birth. Families have the right to know the full picture and have access to the best medical care and supports. It’s vitally important that cCMV is diagnosed within the first 21 days of life in order to be eligible for anti-viral treatment.