Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Newborns, and Hearing Loss
Elizabeth Stehel, MD, and colleagues* from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, published “Newborn Hearing Screening and Detection of Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection” in the May 2008 edition of Pediatrics. Their research was based on chart reviews from 1999 to 2004 and consisted of data from 79,000 newborns who had received hearing screenings. Seven percent of the newborns did not pass the hearing test (n=572), and of those, 6 percent (n=34) had confirmed CMV.
In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported CMV as the most common virus transmitted to unborn children. Between 50% and 80% of adults in the United States have CMV by age 40. CDC estimated 1/150 children are born with CMV and 1/750 children are born with permanent disabilities from CMV. According to Medline (via NIH), for most people with CMV and normal immune systems, those people do not know they have it, as it causes no symptoms. However, some people may develop a “mononucleosis syndrome,” which may be caused by several other viruses, and even some bacterial infections. CMV is a member of the herpes virus family, including herpes simplex viruses, viruses that cause chicken pox (varicella-zoster virus), and infectious mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus). CMV is found in body fluids including urine, saliva, breast milk, blood, tears, semen, and vaginal fluids. Once CMV enters a human, it remains for life.
* Elizabeth K. Stehel, MD; Angela G. Shoup, PhD; Kristine E. Owen, AuD; Gregory L. Jackson, MD, MBA; Dorothy M. Sendelbach, MD; Linda F. Boney, MT, ASCP; and Pablo J. Sánchez, MD
For More Information, References and Recommendations:
Pediatrics Vol. 121 No. 5 May 2008, pp. 970-975