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Did anyone tell you about CMV (Cyto Megalo Virus) during your pregnancy?

(20 Posts)
NQWWW Thu 15-Sep-11 21:43:43

I've got 3 kids, and I'd never heard of CMV until a friend's baby was born with symptoms of it recently. I'm really shocked that no-one told me / her about it during pregnancy, as it can be extremely serious for the unborn child and can be avoided with careful hygiene.

From Wikipedia: "HCMV is found throughout all geographic locations and socioeconomic groups, and infects between 50% and 80% of adults in the United States (40% worldwide)." "HCMV infection is typically unnoticed in healthy people, but can be life-threatening for the immunocompromised, such as HIV-infected persons, organ transplant recipients, or new born infants."

Why is there not more information out there about this? Or am I in a minority in not having heard of it?

NQWWW Thu 15-Sep-11 22:09:24

Bump - anyone?

NQWWW Thu 15-Sep-11 22:23:30

Really? 657 posts on a Walkers Sunbites thread but nobody can be bothered to tell me if they've heard of CMV?

NQWWW Thu 15-Sep-11 22:32:23

37 on "do you like the smell of your own farts?"

PelvicFloorsOfSteel Thu 15-Sep-11 22:34:10

I've never heard of it, is it common that it's actually a problem?

Nihilisticbunny Thu 15-Sep-11 22:41:13

I have never heard of it no, but then again there are a million and one diseases just waiting to infect you, pregnant or not. Thankfully most of us travel through life blissfully unaware of them, as it should be. It doesn't pay to be a paranoid anny.

NQWWW Thu 15-Sep-11 23:20:35

Pelvic - apparently one in 150 babies are born with it and one in ten of those will have symptoms (and then almost certainly go on to have developmental delay, blindness and/or deafness). That's quite a lot IMO.

Agree that its better not to be paranoid, but on this one I feel there should be some info out there.

Quote from the American Pregnancy Association website: "Transmission of cytomegalovirus is often preventable because it is most often transmitted through infected bodily fluids that come in contact with hands and then are absorbed through the nose or mouth of a susceptible person. People who interact with children should use safe hygiene practices including good hand washing and wearing gloves when changing diapers. Hand washing with soap and water is effective in preventing the spread of CMV."

What are some recommendations for pregnant women regarding CMV infection?
Throughout your pregnancy practice good personal hygiene, including hand washing with soap and water
If you develop a mononucleosis-like illness, you should be checked for CMV infection
Refrain from sharing food, eating utensils and drinking utensils with anyone.
Your doctor can test the CMV antibodies to determine if you have already had CMV infection.

Why aren't we told any of this? Simple stuff, could prevent a lot of heartache.

zipzap Fri 16-Sep-11 11:04:22

I've never heard of it either. Just have to hope that if you/dc get poorly that you'd go to the doc and that they know enough to remember to check for it I guess!

Mind you - I had classic pre-eclampsia symptoms when I went for my 39 wk check - maternity care done through a hospital so saw a registrar. Asked him directly if it was pe and he said no, it was more likely because I'd got a 'history of uti's' (just had one, 6 months previously) hmm and told me to see see a mw in a week's time. I happened to speak to my aunt (obs consultant) next day and asked her if I should worry; answer - Yes - and I was in hospital being monitored and then induced a few hours later.

She made the formal complaint about my treatment - on the grounds that she knew the boss of the dept well and they would listen to her - suffice it to say I don't think that registrar is ever going to miss pe again grin but who knows what would have happened if I hadn't got somebody to ask and waited a week...

Sorry, that was a bit long but trying to say that if there are still docs at registrar level that are missing something as common as pe then it makes me really worried about all the other things that occur less frequently that they are missing and I don't know about to ask.

Hope your friend and her baby are ok!

NQWWW Fri 16-Sep-11 12:15:08

Not really - 2 weeks in intensive care for the baby, including an operation under general, followed by 4 weeks of having to go spend every night in hosp for intra-veinous anti-virals, now needing a blood transfusion for low haemoglobin and a second op under general - poor little mite. He also has an enlarged liver and spleen. And they won't know what the long-term effects will be for years.

The really annoying thing was that her DP was actually told he had the virus while she was pg, but no-one warned them about consequences for the baby.

Flisspaps Fri 16-Sep-11 12:20:29

I don't think that we need to be told about every single illness that we may contract or to wash our hands frequently with soap and water because it reduces the chance of you or your baby getting ill. Surely it's common sense?

NQWWW Fri 16-Sep-11 12:36:35

Agree to an extent Flisspaps, but if one in every 150 pregnant women contract it while pregnant that seems a relatively high risk factor to me.

NQWWW Fri 16-Sep-11 12:37:59

And surely that means that if you have 3 pregnancies, your chances of getting it during one of them are one in fifty?

NQWWW Fri 16-Sep-11 12:39:01

Of course you may then be one of the lucky ones whose DC has no symptoms at birth, but still.

Flisspaps Fri 16-Sep-11 13:19:26

NQWWW No, your chances of getting it are still 1/150. Your chance of getting it doesn't increase with each pregnancy.

zipzap Sat 17-Sep-11 01:02:59

Oh that's terrible - poor things sad fingers crossed the recovery goes well.

Whilst it is common sense to wash hands and follow basic hygiene procedures I would have also thought that it would have been basic procedure if somebody gets this disease that they are told if they come into contact with anyone that is pregnant or with any babies that there is a pretty high chance they could be seriously ill if they catch it in which case they would know to ask to be monitored and hopefully something could be done to help prevent it or reduce it's severity.

A bit like the way that these days there are quite a lot of articles and info floating around about strep b - not so that I would know loads about it but enough that if I came into contact with someone who had a strep b infection, even if it was only ails one, I would be talking to midwife and getting them to run the appropriate test. Whilst itoght not be too expensive inappropriate to screen everyone for everything, if there are individuals where the risks shoot up considerably then it does make sense to screen them.

Amd on this case it sounds like if the dh had been warned when he found out that he had the bug that there were potentially severe effects for his new dc then he would have been able to do something about it and the baby would not have been as seriously horribly ill with potential life long after effects.

So maybe this ought to be included as something to say as standard protocol to anybody that gets diagnosed with this disease. Just because the person that gets it isn't obviously pregnant doesn't mean that they are not going to be in close contact with somebody else who is - or any of the other high risk groups for that matter...

doradoo Mon 19-Sep-11 13:46:06

I live in Germany and when I was PG with DC3 I was offered CMV testing. But it was not covered on my insurance and so would have had to have been paid for extra - I declined the tests thinking that my risk factors were not high enough.

We're also tested for Toxoplasmosis as standard here too. Which surely should be standard in the UK as more people are likely to be exposed to it?

BadRoly Mon 19-Sep-11 13:52:27

I have never heard of it. But surely there are so many risks to new born babies that if they were all listed we would never bother? And as it can be managed through very simple basic hygiene I can see why it is overlooked.

ragged Mon 19-Sep-11 14:01:28

It seems to me, imho, that publicising this, like Group B Strep, and a million other bugs that newborns can get, but only very rarely, would cause more worry than help.

Most women who have cold-like symptoms near childbirth have... a cold. Their pregnancy won't benefit from unnecessary extra worry & stress.

orangina Mon 19-Sep-11 14:14:25

DH had it, but I can't even remember what his symptoms were like.... think it left him with a sensitive liver.....

zipzap Mon 19-Sep-11 14:39:33

I don't think it's a case of raising awareness amongst pregnant women so much as raising awareness amongst CMV sufferers of how bad the consequences can be to newborn etc. And then they can make sure they stay away from people or places - or at least tell people they do come into contact with that there may be a problem and to look out.

from what the OP was saying originally, despite having a pregnant wife, the dh that got this wasn't told anything about the problems that the infection could cause his new child. And if he was, then it sounds like there were things he could have done to reduce those - even if it meant not being around his newborn, which I am betting he would do like a shot if he had the benefit of hindsight now.

OP/others that know people that have had this diagnosed by a doctor - what sort of illness is it in healthy adults - enough to keep them in bed for a few days or at home mooching around or would they be well enough to be in work or going to the shops but just feeling below par? And how long does it last? (sorry for the questions!)

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