Congenital Cytomegalovirus is a Common and Serious Herpes Infection That Can Cause Birth Defects, but Is Preventable

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cytomegalovirus (CMV) “is a common virus for people of all ages; however, a healthy person’s immune system usually keeps the virus from causing illness.” The Mayo Clinic shares that once infected, the body retains the infection for life. However, most people do not even know that they carry the virus as it only affects those with weakened immune systems and pregnant women who can then pass the virus on to harm their unborn babies.

A woman who develops an active CMV infection while she is pregnant can then pass on this form of a herpes virus to her unborn baby. This infection can be fatal to the fetus leading to a potential miscarriage or stillbirth.  The National CMV Foundation explains that babies born with congenital CMV may be born with birth defects and developmental disabilities including the following:

  • Hearing loss
  • Mental disability
  • Lack of coordination
  • Seizures
  • Cerebral Palsy

If you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system, getting screened and tested for CMV is extremely important. Your healthcare provider can administer the necessary laboratory tests that will detect the CMV virus. Antiviral medications to slow the reproduction of the virus are available to treat an active infection when necessary.  

Discuss your options with your healthcare provider. To schedule an annual physical at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.