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Congenital Cytomegalovirus


Congenital cytomegalovirus

(CMV) is a viral infection that your child gets before birth. CMV is passed from an infected mother through the placenta to her unborn baby. CMV can be harmful to an unborn baby and lead to severe health problems. A CMV infection increases your baby's risk for hearing or vision problems. A CMV infection may also increase your child's risk for birth defects and learning or development problems.

Signs and symptoms:

Most babies who are born with a CMV infection do not have any signs of the infection. In some cases, your baby may have the following:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
  • Red or purple spots on his skin
  • An enlarged liver or spleen after he is born

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your baby has difficulty breathing.
  • Your baby has a seizure.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your baby has new or worsening jaundice.
  • Your baby has a red or purple spots on his skin.
  • Your baby has abdominal swelling.
  • Your baby does not respond normally to sound.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your baby has a fever or a cough.
  • Your baby vomits, has diarrhea, or will not eat.
  • You have questions about your child's condition or care.

Treatment for congenital CMV

may include medicine to decrease his risk for hearing loss or problems with brain development. Call your baby's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if think your baby has an allergic reaction to the medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow up visits. Carry your baby's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Help your child live a healthy life:

  • Have your child's hearing checked regularly. Early treatment for hearing loss may prevent problems with speech or learning. Ask your healthcare provider how often to get his hearing checked.
  • Bring your child to speech, occupational, or physical therapy. Early therapy will help your child develop and learn as best as they can.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Your baby will need regular follow up visits to check his growth and development. He will also need his vision and hearing checked regularly. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Congenital Cytomegalovirus (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.