Friday, November 12, 2021

Healthy Habits: CMV

 Beyond COVID-19, there are many other serious viruses that can harm humans with no vaccines available. 

One such example is a common virus called CMV, or cytomegalovirus, (pronounced sy-toe-MEG-a-low-vy-rys). Congenital CMV, which can be passed from a mother to baby in the womb, is the leading infectious cause of birth defects in the United States.1 Approximately one out of every 200 babies is born with congenital CMV, and about one out of five of these babies will have birth defects or other long-term health problems – the most common of these birth defects being hearing loss, vision loss, seizures, lack of coordination and learning disabilities.1,

This illness can be dangerous for people with weakened immune systems and can be harmful to newborn babies. 91% of women do not know about CMV, yet nearly one in three children in the U.S. are infected by the age of five.,

The disease was discovered in the 1950s by the same team of doctors who discovered polio, measles, mumps, and the chickenpox. While these other viruses have vaccines, there is no approved vaccine to protect against CMV, which remains largely unheard of.

In this interview, Dr. Lori Panther, a physician specializing in infectious diseases working on the clinical development of an investigational mRNA vaccine against CMV, and Shayne Gaffney, a CMV parent advocate, discuss the virus, symptoms, and actions parents can take to help raise awareness of CMV. 

Interview is courtesy: ModernaTx, Inc.

 Congenital CMV and Hearing Loss. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated April 28, 2020. Accessed July 28, 2021.

 Schleiss et al. Progress toward development of a vaccine against congenital cytomegalovirus infection. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. 2017; 24(12): e00268-17. 

 CMV Fact Sheet for Pregnant Women and Parents. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated September 27, 2018. Accessed July 28, 2021.

 Doutre SM, Barrett TS, Greenlee J, White KR. Losing ground: awareness of congenital cytomegalovirus in the United States. J Early Hear Detect Interv. 2016;1(2):39–48. doi: 10.15142/T32G62

 About Cytomegalovirus (CMV). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated August 18, 2020. Accessed July 28, 2021. 

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