The Morning Blend


Why Babies Not Being Screened For Leading Birth Defects

Posted at 11:59 AM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 11:59:48-05

One such example is a common virus called CMV, or cytomegalovirus, (pronounced sy-toe-MEG-a-low-vy-rys). Congenital CMV, which can be passed from a mother to baby in the womb, is the leading infectious cause of birth defects in the United States.1

Approximately one out of every 200 babies is born with congenital CMV, and about one out of five of these babies will have birth defects or other long-term health problems – the most common of these birth defects being hearing loss, vision loss, seizures, lack of coordination and learning disabilities.1,[3]

This illness can be dangerous for people with weakened immune systems and can be harmful to newborn babies. 91% of women do not know about CMV, yet nearly one in three children in the U.S. are infected by the age of five.[4],[5]

The disease was discovered in the 1950s by the same team of doctors who discovered polio, measles, mumps, and the chickenpox. While these other viruses have vaccines, there is no approved vaccine to protect against CMV, which remains largely unheard of.

Interview is courtesy: ModernaTx, Inc.