CMV stands for cytomegalovirus (cyto-megalo-virus). CMV is a common virus in the same family as Chicken Pox. CMV can be transmitted to an unborn child from a pregnant mother. Babies who were infected with CMV before birth are born with congenital CMV.
CMV is common. CMV is the most common infection passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn child in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CMV is the most common congenital viral infection in the United States. Approximately 1 in 150 children is born with congenital CMV worldwide. More children have disabilities due to congenital CMV than other well-known infections and syndromes, including Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Toxoplasmosis, Spina Bifida, and Pediatric HIV/AIDS.
CMV is serious. Children born with congenital CMV may develop permanent medical conditions and disabilities, such as deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy, mental and physical disabilities, seizures, and death. In some babies, symptoms and problems can arise months or years after birth.
CMV is preventable. While vaccines are in development, pregnant women and their partners can reduce the risk of disabilities in their children by avoiding contact with saliva and urine of young children. Pregnant women can help protect their unborn babies and reduce the risk of a CMV infection.
Pregnant women who interact with infants and young children need to learn about CMV. CMV is very common in home and daycare settings and can be passed around in bodily fluids, including urine, saliva, blood, mucus, and tears. Healthy children between 1 to 3 years of age are at high risk for contracting CMV from their peers.
Simple steps for pregnant women to prevent exposure to saliva and urine that might contain CMV:
- • When you kiss a young child, try to avoid contact with saliva. For example, you might kiss on the forehead or cheek rather than the lips.
- • Do not put things in your mouth that have just been in a child’s mouth, including food, cups, forks or spoons, and pacifiers.
- • Wash your hands after wiping a child’s nose or mouth and changing diapers.
Silver is the color of CMV Awareness. Please share this ribbon to help educate more people about CMV.
Brought to you by the worldwide CMV Non-Profit Collaboration Group
Following a September 2014 summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, CMV organizations from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, and France have come together to create a worldwide CMV Non-Profit Collaboration Group, dedicated to raising awareness about CMV and preventing disabilities.
For more information on the symptoms, effects, testing, and treatment of CMV, please visit one of the worldwide CMV Non-Profit Collaboration Groups in your country:
AntiCito Onlus (Italy)
Chanter Marcher Vivre (France)
Congenital CMV Association (Australia)
CMV Action (United Kingdom)
CMV Help/Buck Buck Foundation (United States)
Guiding Guardians CMV Family Advocacy Foundation (United States)
Maddie's Mission (United States)
Stop Citomegalovirus (Spain)
Stop CMV - The CMV Action Network (United States)
Utah CMV Council (United States)