Title: 'Spreading the CMV Message: the Who, How, What, and When'
Track: 10 - Policy, Advocacy and Legislative Issues
Keyword(s): Congenital cytomegalovirus, CMV, awareness
Learning Objectives:
  1. Discuss the basic tenants of cCMV including characteristics of the virus, modes of transmission, its effects on the fetus, and prevention.
  2. Describe why there is a lack of awareness of cCMV and why people involved in EHDI should care about cCMV.
  3. Develop an action plan of how to spread the cCMV message through state EHDI and MCH programs.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that is not harmful to most. However, if a woman contracts CMV during her pregnancy and transmits it to her baby, it can cause permanent disabilities and even death. Approximately 1 child in 150 is born with congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV). In every 5 children born with cCMV, 1 will develop permanent disabilities. cCMV is the leading non-genetic cause of childhood hearing loss and a leading preventable cause of developmental disabilities. cCMV causes more disabilities than many other more well-known conditions such as Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida. Despite the high prevalence of cCMV infection, awareness of cCMV among the general population is relatively low. In fact, a study done in the U.S. by Cannon et al. (2012) found that in a sample of 4,184 only 13% of the women and 7% of the men were aware of cCMV and there are preliminary results that suggest that specific prevention knowledge of cCMV is even lower than awareness. One reason cCMV awareness may be low is the lack of information provided to pregnant women by their healthcare provider. cCMV information is also lacking in pregnancy literature. The presenters will highlight data to show the accuracy and amount of information in pregnancy websites and books. Presenters will also highlight CDC research about messages and materials designed to improve knowledge of cCMV and increase motivation to reduce risk of exposure to CMV. Based on presented research, presenters will help participants devise an action plan of how they can help spread the cCMV prevention message. Specifically, participants will map who they believe should be receiving the cCMV message in their state, develop no more than three succinct prevention messages, decipher when the message should be received, and determine how the message will be delivered.
Presentation: Tuesday_Combs Chandler_940_AlysonWard_1709.pdf

Handouts: Handout_1709AlysonWard.pdf
CART: Topical Session 4- 1709.DOCX
Alyson Ward - Primary Presenter,POC
     Credentials: MS
     Other Affiliations: CHES
      Alyson Ward has a M.S. in Health Education and a Certified Health Education Specialist certification and has worked in public health for over ten years. She has been involved in health promotion, education, research, policy, evaluation, grant development, and grant review from the community to national levels. Alyson oversees the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management’s quality improvement (QI) technical assistance for state Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs and is the EHDI improvement advisor for six states and three U.S. territories. Alyson is also involved in the planning and implementation of Utah’s HB 81, which mandates the Utah Department of Health to conduct a public-centered and physician-centered education campaigns about Cytomegalovirus.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Sara Doutre - Co-Presenter
     Credentials: MA
      Sara Doutre is a PHD student studying sociobehavioral epidemiology at Utah State University. She has an MA in education policy studies and a BS in elementary and special education. A former special education teacher and education policy professional, he currently consults with state departments of education and health on special education policy. Her four-year-old daughter is deaf due to congenital cytomegalovirus.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.