What is Cytomegalovirus (CMV)?

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CMV (cyto megalo virus) is a common virus. Many people have it but don’t realize it.

Adults are most likely to catch CMV from young children.

If you catch CMV while pregnant, it could be dangerous to your unborn baby.

All pregnant women who care for young children should know about CMV.

CMV is a leading cause of birth defects.

It affects as many babies as Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, or spina bifida.

infants are born with CMV each year.

of them never have long-term health problems.

do suffer disabilities from CMV.

What problems can CMV cause?

Babies who are born with CMV may have problems at birth, or they may develop them months or years later. Problems may include:

Hearing loss

Vision loss

Developmental disability

Cognitive impairment

How do I catch CMV?

Young children, especially from birth to age 3, who have CMV are most contagious. You can catch CMV from getting an infected child’s urine, saliva, or mucus in your eyes, nose, or mouth.

This can happen by

Kissing a child on the mouth

Putting their spoon or pacifier in your mouth after it's been in their mouth

Not washing your hands right away after wiping a runny nose or changing a diaper

How can I protect my unborn baby from CMV?

If you’re pregnant and around young children, be especially careful.
Here are simple steps you can take to lower your risk.

Avoid putting things in your mouth after they’ve been in a child’s mouth.

• Food
• Forks and spoons

• Drinking cups
• Pacifiers

Use two sets of plates, cups, and utensils—one for you and one for the child.

Kiss children on the forehead or cheek instead of the lips.

Show love with hugs and cuddles!

Wash your hands after touching a child’s urine, saliva, mucus, or other body fluids.
Keep hand sanitizer nearby when you can’t wash your hands.

The more steps you can take to avoid CMV, the better you can protect your unborn baby!