Prevention for Parents/Pregnant Women

CMV is preventable

What simple steps can reduce the risk of CMV in pregnancy?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Congenital CMV Facts for Pregnant Women and Parents flyer.

If I have already had CMV, do I need to worry about getting it again?

CMV is a member of the herpes viruses so once you have been infected, it remains in your system, and can re-activate in the future. When someone catches CMV for the first time, it is called a primary infection. When someone who already has had the virus gets infected with another strain, or their current strain becomes active again, this is called a non-primary or secondary infection.

▪️ 1-4 out of 100 women will experience a primary infection during pregnancy
▪️ 1 in 1000 women will experience a secondary infection during pregnancy

Although it is more likely that the fetus will be affected by a primary infection, a secondary infection may still cause harm to the baby.

Does having a young child put me at a greater risk of acquiring CMV?

▪️ Pregnant women should avoid getting body fluids in their eyes, nose or mouth. One of the most common exposures is through contact with saliva or urine of young children who recently had the virus.

▪️ Research shows that women who work closely with small children in settings such as child care facilities or have other children in the home while pregnant may be at greater risk.

▪️ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the risk of getting CMV through casual contact, such as hugging, is very small.

▪️ CMV is very common among healthy children one to five years of age (one in three five year-olds are already infected), especially for those in daycare and preschool. Even though your toddler may seem healthy and does not appear to have any symptoms of being sick, it is possible for him or her to shed the virus for three to six months or longer.

Women can also be exposed to the CMV virus through body fluids during sexual activity. Those who participate in high-risk behaviors are at greater risk. Congenital CMV has been associated with STIs, particularly in young women. A strategy of avoiding new sexual partners in pregnancy is a good addition to prevention.

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