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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 12, 2021 12:32 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Education and Newborn Screening
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common infection that, among healthy children, usually causes no symptoms; however, when transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy, CMV infections are the leading viral cause of congenital and developmental disabilities in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about one out of every 200 babies is born with a congenital CMV infection. Of these babies, around 1 in 5 will have long-term health problems such as hearing loss, developmental delay, vision loss, and seizure disorders. CMV is preventable, but awareness is dangerously low – 95 percent of women do not understand the health risks of CMV, according to the National CMV Foundation.

In recognition of these gaps, I will be re-introducing legislation to increase public education and enhance screening processes to identity and support infants and children with CMV as well as their families. Specifically, the bill would require the Department of Health to provide publicly accessible educational information about CMV along with contact information regarding support programs and services to be used by health care providers to inform pregnant women or women who may become pregnant. The bill would further require CMV testing for all infants who fail newborn hearing screenings or if the parent or guardian requests testing.

I hope you will join me in helping Pennsylvania children with CMV receive a timely diagnosis, which will help them and their families access early interventions that are critical to improving their long-term health outcomes and quality of life.

Introduced as HB1455