Antiviral May Improve Hearing Loss in Congenital CMV

Antiviral for Hearing Loss in Congenital CMV

CMV is cytomegalovirus and CMV is a very common virus that is found all over the world. People who are exposed or infected by the virus frequently don’t even know it. Because a healthy person’s immune system generally takes care of it.

Some people may experience that they’re tired. Other people might have a mild fever. Frequently people have no symptoms at all or symptoms they really don’t remember. And studies show that anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of adults have had the infection at some point in their lives and most of them don’t even know.

cCMV stands for congenital cytomegalovirus or CMV that is acquired when a baby is in utero. While CMV generally doesn’t cause issues for healthy adults or older children, pregnant women who contract CMV while pregnant, or those who have a recurrence of a previous CMV infection, or who contract to see a different strain of CMV.

They can pass the virus on to their unborn child who then acquire CMV in utero. And that’s where some problems can happen. According to the CDC, cCMV is among the most common forms of non-genetic hearing loss in infants and young children in the United States.

May develop later

Hearing loss may be present at birth, or it may develop later on during the child’s life. And it’s estimated that about 15 to 20 percent of all cases of moderate to profound hearing loss in infants and young children can be attributed to a cCMV infection while the mother was pregnant.

cCMV infections or exposure to cCMV after birth do not cause hearing loss in children. Currently in Virginia, babies are now being screened for cCMV if they failed their newborn hearing test in the hospital.

And that started September 1st of 2020. Very exciting. So again, if a baby is born in a hospital setting, they fail the newborn hearing screen, they will automatically be tested for cCMV before hospital discharge and the test results come get returned very, very quickly.

Informed decisions

This testing will help parents and their providers make better informed decisions on treatment plans. There are options that need to be decided, but knowing whether or not cCMV was a contributing factor to hearing loss is an important one in in determining what the next steps are.

The Center for Family Involvement can connect you with a family that can talk to you. All a family has to do is reach out to the Center for Family Involvement and share what’s going on. And someone will reach back out to you as soon as possible.

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