Children With Special Health Care NeedsPhone:(801)584-8284 TollFree:(800)829-8200

Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN)

The mission of CSHCN is to assure quality health care and related services for children and youth with special needs and their families throughout the State of Utah.

Baby and mother


Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is a member of the herpes virus family that affects people of all ages. Once the virus is in a person’s body, it stays there for life and can reactivate. The CMV virus is common and typically harmless to the general population, but can cause severe disease in babies infected before birth, which is referred to as congenital CMV, or cCMV. When this happens, the virus gets transmitted to the unborn infant and can potentially damage the brain, eyes, and/or inner ears.

CMV is generally a “silent” infection, so most mothers are unaware when they have contracted a CMV virus. CMV is spread from one person to another, usually by DIRECT contact with bodily fluids, such as saliva or urine, or through sexual contact. CMV is common among healthy children 1-3 years of age, especially those that attend daycare. It is generally harmless to these children and most show no signs or symptoms of the infection. A major cause of CMV infection among pregnant women is contact with saliva or urine of young children.

Pregnant women can protect themselves and their unborn children against CMV by practicing the following prevention tips: don’t share food, utensils, drinks or straws; don’t put a pacifier in your mouth; avoid contact with saliva when kissing a young child; don’t share a toothbrush; and always wash your hands after wiping a child’s nose or drool, changing diapers, feeding a young child, and handling children’s toys.

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