What is Cytomegalovirus (CMV)?
Cytomegalovirus is a virus that women may get during pregnancy that can cause serious health problems for their unborn babies, including hearing loss. Congenital CMV (cCMV) is passed to the baby during pregnancy. Health problems may or may not be apparent at birth. The most common consequence of cCMV is hearing loss which may be present at birth or can develop during infancy or later in childhood. According to the Center for Disease Control, about 21% of all permanent hearing loss in babies is due to cCMV.
What other long-term health problems does CMV cause?
Long-term health problems can include vision loss, and intellectual disability, lack of coordination, weakness or problems using muscles and/or seizures.
Are Michigan lawmakers doing anything about CMV?
On March 30, 2017, House Bill No 4440 was introduced and referred to the committee on Health Policy. The bill would amend the Public Health Code to provide for the development or approval, and dissemination of educational material to women who are pregnant, families and health care providers. Research supports education of at risk women and health care workers about CMV transmission as the primary method of prevention.
The bill has not been given a hearing in the Health Policy Committee. June was CMV Awareness Month and HLAA-MI’s advocacy committee, working with Hands & Voices, distributed information about CMV to all Michigan legislators asking Representatives to support the bill and Senators to introduce a companion bill.
Is there a cost to implement the bill?
Michigan’s Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program estimates that less than $100,000 is needed to fund printing for the already-developed brochures, staff time for distribution and software development to track data.
What about a cost to society if this bill isn’t passed?
Research in the U.S. estimates the cost of hospitalization for infants with CMV to be $10 to $14.3 million annually, with hospitalization only part of the cost. An estimated total lifetime for a child with severe to profound hearing loss puts the cost at $280,000, with an estimated productivity loss of $926,000 for an approximate total cost of $1.2 million per child.
What are other states doing about CMV?
Currently, ten states have laws specific to CMV education and/or screening: OR, ID, UT, TX, IA, IL, TN, CT, HI and CO. Other states have bills in progress: CA, MN, MI, PA, NY and Me.
What can I do to help move H.B. 4440 forward?
Contact your Representative and ask him/her to support this bill. Contact your Senator and ask him/her to introduce a companion bill.
Know who represents you in Congress. To find this information, visit the House & Senate web sites and search by entering zip code/state in the boxes at the top right of the sites.
EHDI CMV brochures:
“Women Planning On or Who Are Pregnant”
“Parents Who Have a Child Diagnosed With CMV”
Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
“Babies Born with CMV (Congenital CMV Infection)”
“CMV Facts for Pregnant Women and Parents”
National CMV Foundation:
What is CMV?”
WFTV News (abc) Florida:
Local Doctors See Increase in Hearing Loss Virus Among Newborns – June 25, 2018
From your HLAA-MI Advocacy Committee