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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.


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • 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 or her skin.
  • Your baby has abdominal swelling.
  • Your baby does not respond normally to sound.

Call your child's doctor if:

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


  • Antiviral medicines are given to treat the CMV infection. Early treatment for your baby may decrease his or her risk for hearing loss or problems with brain development.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any 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 child'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 or her 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 doctor as directed:

Your baby will need regular follow up visits to check his or her growth and development. He or she will also need his or her 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 (Discharge Care)

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