Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has been called "the elephant in our living room" because it is a major public health problem that for decades has been unrecognized and unaddressed. Congenital CMV infection is a common cause of sensorineural hearing loss, vision loss, neurodevelopment disabilities, liver disease, and growth failure. Diagnostic tests are now widely available to identify newborns with congenital CMV infection, congenitally infected newborns now can be easily assessed for evidence of organ involvement, and there are now antiviral treatments and other interventions available to improve the outcome in children with congenital CMV disease. A licensed vaccine to prevent CMV infection is not yet available; however, a "CMV knowledge vaccine," composed of "an ounce of CMV awareness and three simple precautions" and that is endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available for pregnant women who wish to reduce their contact with potentially CMV-infected secretions and therefore reduce their risk of acquiring CMV during pregnancy. Medical experts in the field of congenital CMV have been called upon for a consensus statement for diagnosis and treatment, and nonprofit organizations of families affected by congenital CMV from around the world have formed a collaborative coalition to facilitate the spread of CMV knowledge and awareness.
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