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  • Samantha Isaacs

The most common virus that you've never heard of...

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the ๐—บ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜€ in the world:

More than 50% of Americans contract it by age 40, and 1 out of 3 children has had it by age 5. Typically it is usually harmless, with no signs of illness or symptoms and no long-term effect..


โ€ฆEXCEPT for babies who become infected before they are born, known as ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—–๐— ๐—ฉ, which affects around ๐Ÿญ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿฌ newborns.


Research has found ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—–๐— ๐—ฉ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜‚๐—ฝ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฑ% ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ต๐˜€, and of survivors of congenital CMV, 1 in 7 will develop hearing loss over time.


The CMV virus is only harmful to pregnancy when it is active, for example:

- when you catch it for the first time

- if it is reactivated (because you have a weakened immune system)

- if you have been infected again by a different strain of CMV


CMV is passed through bodily fluids such as saliva and urine.


The main way a pregnant woman catches CMV is typically from caring for young children.



๐™Ž๐™ค ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™™๐™ค?


Prevention steps are ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ๐˜€/๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜€: Donโ€™t share food, utensils, drinks, or straws with others; kiss your kids on the forehead or cheek to avoid saliva; and ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ต ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐˜€ frequently (for example, after changing diapers, wiping a littleโ€™s nose/mouth, or handling their toys and food).


๐—˜๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜†, so ask your doctor to do a ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ to check your status before becoming pregnant or as soon as you find out you are. This will help your doctor know whether you are at risk for a primary infection or if a reactivation occurs, what your IgG/IgM levels are.


There are promising emerging interventions during pregnancy or after birth to help monitor and treat babies who contract congenital CMV โ€“ but only if you know an infection has occurred!


Some babies with congenital CMV infection have signs at birth.

These signs include:


๐‘๐š๐ฌ๐ก ๐‰๐š๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ข๐œ๐ž (๐ฒ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ค๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ฒ๐ž๐ฌ)

๐Œ๐ข๐œ๐ซ๐จ๐œ๐ž๐ฉ๐ก๐š๐ฅ๐ฒ (๐ฌ๐ฆ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐)

๐‹๐จ๐ฐ ๐›๐ข๐ซ๐ญ๐ก ๐ฐ๐ž๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ

๐‡๐ž๐ฉ๐š๐ญ๐จ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฒ (๐ž๐ง๐ฅ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ž๐ง) ๐’๐ž๐ข๐ณ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ

๐‘๐ž๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ฌ (๐๐š๐ฆ๐š๐ ๐ž๐ ๐ž๐ฒ๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐š)


1 in 5 children born with cCMV will have long term health problems such a Hearing and vision loss, motor impairment, cerebral palsy, and developmental delay.



The solution?

Talk about CMV with your friends and family.

Share posts about prevention and detection.

Advocate alongside families who are trying to make a change.


Together, we can #StopCMV


#hankstrong

#cmvawareness

#congenitalcmv

#cytomegalovirus

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