Australia lacks a comprehensive approach to CMV screening, and most infected infants go undiagnosed
For the developing fetus, congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) represents one of the greatest threats to normal development posed by an infection. The virus is a leading cause of developmental disability and a common cause of permanent hearing loss in infants.1,2 Ninety percent of infected infants remain asymptomatic, making universal screening (testing all infants) difficult to justify.2 Despite the high asymptomatic rate, the significant prevalence and infectivity result in congenital CMV affecting more children than other disorders universally screened for in newborns in Australia. Congenital CMV infection is a significant if poorly recognised public health issue.
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