Promoting and protecting the health and safety of all Idahoans

About CMV

During the 2017 Idaho legislative session, a law was passed that directs the Department of Health and Welfare to create a public education program about a common virus called Cytomegalovirus (CMV). To view the legislative language click here.

Cytomegalovirus (pronounced sy-toe-MEG-a-low-vy-rus), or CMV, is a common virus that infects people of all ages. In the United States, nearly 1 in 3 children are already infected with CMV by age 5. Over half of adults have been infected with CMV by age 40. Once CMV is in a person’s body, it stays there for life and can reactivate. A person can also be reinfected with a different strain of the virus.

Most people infected with CMV show no signs or symptoms. That’s because a healthy person’s immune system usually keeps the virus from causing illness. However, CMV infection can cause serious health problems for people with weakened immune systems, as well as babies infected with the virus before they are born (congenital CMV).

What is Congenital CMV?

When a baby is born with CMV infection, it is called congenital CMV infection.  CMV is the most common congenital infection in the United States. According to the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 200 babies are born each year with congenital CMV. Based on this statistic, it is estimated that approximately 115 babies born in Idaho each year may have congenital CMV infection.  Of those born with congenital CMV, about 1 in 5 will develop long-term health problems due to the infection. 

Note: Information on this webpage has been adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Cytomegalovirus webpage: www.cdc.gov/cmv/

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