Cytomegalovirus (sy toe MEG a low vy rus) or CMV, is a common virus that is usually harmless to people with a healthy immune system. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CMV is the most common congenital (meaning from birth) viral infection in the United States. 1 in 150 children is born with congenital CMV in the United States. More children will have disabilities due to congenital CMV than other well-known infections and syndromes, including Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and Pediatric HIV/AIDS.
CMV is a virus that can be transmitted to an unborn child from a pregnant mother experiencing a primary or recurrent CMV infection. CMV can cause serious disease in babies who were infected with CMV before birth (referred to as congenital CMV).
CMV poses a major risk to pregnant women, especially mothers, daycare workers, preschool teachers, therapists, and nurses. CMV is present in saliva, urine, tears, blood, mucus, and other bodily fluids.
Recent studies indicate that CMV hyperimmune globulin treatment may reduce the risk of congenital infection and/or neonatal disease when given to pregnant women experiencing a primary CMV infection. Ganciclovir and Valganciclovir are antiviral treatments that may be beneficial to a newborn with symptomatic congenital CMV.