According to the CDC, about one in 200 babies is born with congenital CMV. It is the most common infectious cause of birth defects nationwide. It can lead to hearing loss or, in the most severe cases, pregnancy loss.
Dr. Sallie Permar, department chair of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine, joined “News All Day” on Wellness Monday to speak more about this.
Babies can get Congenital CMV when the mother gets it while pregnant. It is most often spread through toddlers since kids share a lot of body fluids with others. (Ex. putting fingers in the mouth of others)
She says the best way a mother can prevent getting it is by washing their hands, wearing gloves while changing diapers, avoid the bodily fluids of children, and don’t have any new sexual partners during the pregnancy.
While many people are asymptomatic, those who aren’t may experience a fever, sore throat, or swollen lymph nodes. See you provider if you have any of these symptoms.
Permar says mothers should speak with their doctor about being tested for the virus and she’d like to see all infants be tested for congenital CMV. In addition, a vaccine is in development.
For more information, go to WeillCornell.org.