Workplace Prevention for Employers

"Childcare and healthcare workers are among those at increased risk for exposure to cytomegalovirus (CMV)."


The information in this training program was originally developed for The Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine at the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), 462 Grider St., Buffalo, NY 14215.  Permission to make this training program available online granted by The Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

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CMV is one tough cookie

The virus can live on surfaces for quite some time:
▪️ On hands up to 15 minutes
▪️ On metal and wood up to 1 hour
▪️ On glass and plastic up to 3 hours
▪️ On rubber, cloth, and a cracker up to 6 hours
▪️ Apparently-dry surfaces can harbor the viable virus in the 1–2-hour time period between when they are visibly dry and when completely dry

"People who have frequent contact with young children may be at greater risk of CMV infection because young children are a common source of CMV. By the age of five years, one in three children has been infected with CMV, but usually does not have symptoms. CMV can be present in a child’s body fluids for months after they become infected."

- The CDC

Potential Cost of Not Warning Child Care Providers about CMV

▪️ In New South Wales, “a childcare worker and her severely disabled son were awarded $4.65 million. A Court of Appeal ruled that the child's disabilities resulted from the woman being infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV) at work (Hughes v SDN Children's services 2002)”. SOURCE
▪️ Meridian Lawyers of Australia stated: "The allegations of negligence were that Sydney Day Nursery breached its duty of care to Linda failing to warn her of the risks of CMV in circumstances where the centre knew or ought to have known of the risks of CMV to pregnant women". SOURCE

Examples of CMV Protocols In other countries

▪️ In Queensland, Australia, suggested control measures include: "relocating workers who are pregnant, or who expect to become pregnant, to care for children aged over two to reduce contact with urine and saliva" (Queensland Government). SOURCE

▪️ In Germany, to protect daycare workers from primary CMV infection, their “CMV serostatus must be checked at the beginning of their pregnancy.” If the worker “is seronegative, she is excluded from professional activities with children under the age of three years” (Stranzinger et al., 2016). SOURCE

▪️ According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children with known CMV should not be excluded from group care; "CMV excretion is so prevalent that attempts at isolation or segregation of children who excrete CMV are impractical and inappropriate". SOURCE

CMV Training Module Video

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Congenital CMV Facts for Pregnant Women and Parents flyer.

Further Resources