Compared with Zika, CMV is a Greater Threat and Less Discussed

A recent article in NY Times provides another example of how a common infectious problem has been overshadowed by a more recent epidemic.  CMV is A Greater Threat to Infants Than Zika

Two years ago, it was well-recognized that the flu virus is vastly more dangerous for U.S. than Ebola (Related post:Scarier than Ebola -the Flu | gutsandgrowth). This year, CMV should get more attention.

Here’s an excerpt:

Every year, 20,000 to 40,000 infants are born with CMV. At least 20 percent — up to 8,000 — have or develop permanent disabilities, such as hearing lossmicrocephaly, intellectual deficits and vision abnormalities. There is no vaccine or standard treatment…

CMV is the most common congenital viral infection and the leading nongenetic cause of deafness in children. Roughly 400 children die from it annually. By contrast, roughly 900 pregnant women in the continental United States have contracted the Zika virus

CMV is the most common congenital viral infection and the leading nongenetic cause of deafness in children. Roughly 400 children die from it annually. By contrast, roughly 900 pregnant women in the continental United States have contracted the Zika virus.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists used to encourage counseling for pregnant women on how to avoid CMV. But last year, the college reversed course, saying, “Patient instruction remains unproven as a method to reduce the risk of congenital CMV infection.”

My take: Perinatal CMV infection merits more discussion.

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