I was watching a TV show set in the future that said the common cold had died out. What a wonderful world that would be to live in. The common cold is not a big deal for adults, just annoying, but imagine if you got it before your immune system had really kicked in.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that infects people of all ages and is usually harmless to people with a healthy immune system, but it is not so harmless to babies still developing in the mother’s womb.
According to Stop CMV, permanent health problems or disabilities that may occur due to congenital CMV infection (which means infection with CMV while still in the womb) include hearing loss, vision loss, mental disability, feeding issues/Failure to Thrive (FTT), sleeping issues, sensory issues, behavior issues, small head/small brain (Microcephaly), intercranial calcifications, lack of coordination, cerebral palsy, seizures, and even death.
About 1 in 150 children is born with congenital CMV in the United States, but like the common cold, it is preventable by keeping saliva and urine that might contain CMV away from pregnant mothers. Here are some tips to do so:
§ Wash your hands often with soap and water for 15-20 seconds, especially after changing diapers, feeding a young child, wiping a young child's nose or drool, and handling children's toys
§ Do not share food, drinks, or eating utensils used by young children
§ Do not put a child's pacifier in your mouth
§ Do not share a toothbrush with a young child
§ Avoid contact with saliva when kissing a child
§ Clean toys, countertops, and other surfaces that come into contact with children's urine or saliva
I have done all of the “do not” suggestions myself so although this may seem obvious, it isn’t once you have a child for they are all things I never thought I would do.
The main thing is that only 13 percent of women have heard of CMV, so now you know about it, spread the word. It’s not just in wintertime that you need to wash your hands often. It’s all the time, especially if you deal with other people’s saliva, urine or other bodily fluids.
These are lifesaving prevention tips. So, as they say, spread the word, not the disease! God Bless.