Baby Your Baby: Pregnancy & CMV

Baby Your Baby: Pregnancy & CMV

(KUTV) CMV is a virus an estimated 90% of the population will be exposed to during their lives. It’s usually a silent virus, with little to no symptoms. However, if a woman is exposed to CMV while pregnant, 40% of the time it will be passed along to the baby. Stephanie Browning McVicar, doctor of audiology with the Utah Department of Health says CMV to a growing fetus inside can be devastating and that when a baby is born with Cytomegalovirus, you don’t even know.

“They look fine, they appear healthy, sometimes the only thing we realize is wrong with them is they don’t pass their newborn hearing screening,” says McVicar.

This was the case with Allison Hertig’s son, Henry. During his very first hearing test both ears failed. Then just before leaving the hospital, his right ear passed, but his left ear did not. Since one-third of childhood hearing loss is caused by CMV, doctors then tested to see if Henry did in fact have the virus. After testing positive, Henry began taking medication with the hopes of preventing any further hearing loss.

“There hasn’t been any progressing of his hearing loss in his poorer ear and his normal ear is still hearing normally,” says McVicar.

Allison says that if Henry hadn’t started on the medication when he did, then possibly his right ear could have been affected.

Doctor McVicar’s advice to pregnant women is to avoid as many germs as possible and to never share food or drink while pregnant.

“There isn’t a vaccine to prevent it so it’s only through behavioral change and taking these hygienic precautions that you can try and prevent it.”

For more information about CMV (cytomegalovirus), click here.

Copyright 2015 Sinclair Broadcast Group