Cytomegalovirus is more than just a word that is hard to spell.
The herpes-like virus, otherwise known as CMV is passed through bodily fluids, like saliva, tears, urine and breast milk.
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In extreme cases the virus may cause stillbirth
Apparently, 85 percent of us will contract CMV at some point in our lifetime, but it’s not till pregnancy that it can cause any serious damage.
According to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANCZOG) almost 2000 babies are born with the virus every year, and about 400 of these will develop physical or intellectual disabilities like deafness, blindness, microcephaly and epilepsy.
In extreme cases, the virus may even cause stillbirth, neonatal death and the severe condition cytomegalic inclusion disease (CID).
RANCZOG has just released 10 new recommendations to raise the awareness of CMV and prevent the further spread of the disease.
The recommendations cover best hygiene practices for pregnant mothers and options for infant screening.
Pregnant women with young children most at risk
Apparently pregnant women with young children are most at risk as they are more vulnerable to the plethora of preschool-type germs, passed from kissing, sharing drinks or food and putting things like dummies in their mouth.
RANCZOG advises pregnant women commit to washing their hands thoroughly after feeding young children, preparing food, changing nappies or wiping the kitchen bench.
And as tempting as it may be, try to steer clear of kissing your little ones on the lips, too.
For more information and support, visit CMV Australia.