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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 5, 2019 09:10 AM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Education and Newborn Screening

Pregnant mothers becoming infected with a virus that can harm their babies, and they know nothing about it. It sounds unbelievable, but it happens with approximately 1 in every 150 babies, or 30,000 annually.

It is called cytomegalovirus, or CMV, and many mothers have no symptoms. Of babies born with congenital CMV, 1 in 5 will develop permanent problems such as hearing loss, vision loss, or developmental disabilities and an estimated 400 die. This means that CMV causes more long-term health problems and childhood deaths than more well-known conditions like Down Syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome and neural tube defects.

Because CMV is so prevalent, we must create public awareness to prevent the long term problems it causes. My legislation will do just this by requiring the Department of Health to provide educational information regarding CMV. Additionally, to ensure we identify infected newborns and to help in their developmental outcome, my legislation will require testing for CMV in newborns that fail their required newborn hearing screening or if testing for CMV is requested by the parent or guardian.

I ask that you join me in ensuring that the health of our newborn children becomes a top priority in Pennsylvania.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.

Introduced as HB1220