Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Doctors Need to Ramp up Efforts to Warn Pregnant Women of Congenital CMV

CMV infection of the fetus is the leading cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the US. Infection occurs in about 1 in 150 neonates and leads to hearing and vision loss, mental disability, and other problems. A nationwide survey showed that only 44 percent of gynecologists and obstetricians warned mothers-to-be of cytomegalovirus risks. A pregnant woman coming into contact with saliva or urine of preschool-age children is particularly at risk--the mother can then pass the virus on to her child through the placenta. Many children and adults may carry the virus but not exhibit any symptoms. Congenital CMV is serious; doctors must do their part to raise awareness so as to avoid such devastating health consequences.

-Tad Henry

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