Cytomegalovirus: the unknown danger
HOW do you counsel a pregnant woman about the dangers of an infection that is common, very likely to be transmitted to them by their own toddler, tricky to test for, has no accepted treatment, yet has devastating consequences for the fetus?
Infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one such issue facing doctors who manage women during pregnancy.
But despite being a common viral infection, CMV is something very few patients are familiar with.
In fact, Sydney virology expert Professor Bill Rawlinson suggests the first time most people hear about it is when they are dealing with its terrible consequences.
“I see so many patients who say they have heard of hepatitis, they have heard of HIV, they have heard of rubella, but they have not heard of cytomegalovirus,” he says.
“And yet congenital cytomegalovirus is the most common congenital infection occurring in Australia.