State Legislation Addressing Congenital Cytomegalovirus

June 15, 2017|4:39 p.m.| KT Kramer

June is Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Awareness Month. CMV can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or during the postpartum period. While 80 percent of infants who contract CMV will never show symptoms, the virus can cause developmental delays and hearing loss. For these children, early interventions are crucial to improve long-term health outcomes and quality of life. State policymakers have been developing public education programs and enhanced screening processes to identify and support infants and children with CMV and their families.

In 2013, Utah became the first state to enact a CMV law. The law required the health department to develop and conduct a public education program to inform pregnant women and women who may become pregnant about the incidence and transmission of CMV, birth defects caused by the virus, methods of diagnosing CMV, and preventative measures. The law also required medical practitioners to test infants who fail the newborn hearing screenings for CMV.

In 2015, Connecticut, Illinois, Hawaii, and Texas passed legislation to address CMV. Connecticut required CMV testing of all infants who fail initial hearing screenings. Illinois, Hawaii, and Texas required education and outreach efforts to inform key populations about the risks posed by CMV, preventative measures, and available resources. Additionally, Texas healthcare providers must give parents or caregivers a resource pamphlet with information about CMV, and Illinois hospitals are required to inform parents or guardians of infants who fail initial newborn hearing screenings about the availability of CMV testing. In 2016, Tennessee passed legislation requiring healthcare providers to provide information about CMV to expectant women or women who may become pregnant. CMV is also reportable to the Delaware Birth Defects Registry and to Illinois’s Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Reporting System.  

ASTHO is currently tracking 14 bills from nine states that address CMV. A chart summarizing the legislation and its current status can be viewed here.