By Carla Roberts
(KUTV) There is a virus that most of you have contracted once in your lifetime. It’s called cytomegalovirus, or CMV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CMV is usually harmless and once it is in a person’s body, it stays there for life. The CDC’s website states: “Among every 100 adults in the United States, 50-80 are infected with CMV by the time they are 40-years-old”.
If a pregnant woman is infected with CMV, the virus can cause serious problems for the unborn baby. This was the case for little Daisy Doutre. In a span of just 4 months, Daisy lost her hearing. She was just 17-months when her mother realized something was wrong. What her mother didn’t know was Daisy had CMV. “When we found out that Daisy had CMV, we did some aggressive treatment but it was too late to stop her hearing loss.”
Doctors say pregnant women will often contract the virus from their own children. The virus is generally passed through direct contact with body fluids, such as urine and saliva. These are body fluids, according to the CDC, that parents and other caregivers have frequent contact with through activities such as diaper changing, nose wiping, and feeding. Daisy’s mother suspects she got the virus from her son while she was pregnant. “Daisy’s disabilities are pretty mild compared to some kids with CMV.”
Daisy’s grandmother is Utah Representative Rhonda Menlove. Menlove proposed legislation to educate parents about CMV. Under the law, if a baby fails a hearing test at least twice early in life, he or she will be tested for CMV.
This week, Utah became the first state in the nation to launch an education and screening campaign for CMV. More information on CMV is available through the MotherToBaby Utah hotline at (800) 822-2229 or by visiting http://www.health.utah.gov/cshcn/CHSS/CMV.html
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)