Academy Weighs In on Pennsylvania Legislation to Require Targeted Newborn CMV Testing
The Academy submitted a letter to Pennsylvania Majority Leader encouraging that H.B. 1220, The Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Education and Newborn Screening Act, be brought up for a full Senate vote. H.B. 1220 would require targeted testing for CMV for newborns that fail their newborn hearing screening and implement public education efforts regarding CMV.
CMV is the leading non-hereditary cause of hearing loss in children and can also cause blindness, cerebral palsy, autism and intellectual disabilities. CMV is treatable if caught early, and six states currently require targeted CMV testing for infants that do not pass newborn hearing screening. Infants that do not pass their newborn hearing screening and subsequently test positive for CMV may be successfully treated with antiviral medications to improve hearing and developmental outcomes (Gantt et al, 2016).
H.B. 1220 has passed the House and was reported unanimously out of the Senate Committee. The Academy respectfully requested that the bill be advanced and brought to the Senate floor for a vote.
Gantt S, Dionne F, Kozak F, et al. (December 2016) Cost-effectiveness of Universal and Targeted Newborn Screening for Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection. JAMA Network. 170(12):1173–1180.