Proposal to screen all newborns for congenital virus that can cause birth defects
CDC: The virus is the leading non-genetic cause of infant birth defects
MADISON, CT (WFSB) - Lawmakers and advocates introduced a new bill that would allow widespread screening for a virus that causes birth defects in infants.
They described Congenital Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, as a little-known yet common virus that is harmless in adults but can cause birth defects like deafness, seizures, and developmental delays in babies.
The proposal from lawmakers would fight for timely testing and fund millions of dollars for research about the virus and treatments.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s “Stop CMV Act of 2023″ would have hospitals and other healthcare providers screen babies for CMV 21 days after birth.
CMV is the leading non-genetic cause of birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC estimated that 1-in-200 babies were born with CMV, and 1-in-5 of those children developed long-term health problems as a result.
The proposal also included $5 million dollars over the next two years to collect data on CMV and to assist in the education and training of healthcare providers.
Lawmakers assembled in Madison Monday at 11 a.m. to introduce more details about the proposal.
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