Cytomegalovirus (CMV) sounds scary, but it is a pretty common virus. Generally, it is harmless to people with healthy immune systems. However, as one of the most common congenital viral infections in the US, it does cause permanent health problems in roughly 6000 infants a year. These can include deafness, blindness, and Cerebral Palsy. Currently in the US, there aren’t standardized routine protocols for screening newborns for CMV. Thankfully in Utah, though, hearing-targeted early CMV screening has been implemented state-wide when an infant fails his/her newborn hearing screen before 3 weeks of age. This is why attending your child’s newborn and 2 week well visit are so important! If the CMV testing performed after the failed newborn hearing screen is positive, it may help avoid unnecessary testing for the cause of the child’s hearing loss, as well as open up new approaches for treatment to prevent further or progressive hearing loss.
For more information on CMV and to read more tips on basic prevention, head on over to the National CMV Foundation’s website by clicking here.