Alert Utah families that common virus endangers babies

Doutre did not know her daughter had become infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV) while in the womb. Daisy, now almost 2, recently became deaf because of the infection, which can also cause mental disabilities and death in some children.

The Willard mother is now pushing for state legislation that would require pregnant women be told about the virus and taught how to take precautions, along with other actions to raise awareness of CMV. Doutre’s mother and Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, are sponsoring the bill.

The virus is usually harmless to healthy adults and children who become infected. But it can cause serious disease in babies infected before birth. Nationally, 5,000 children a year develop permanent problems, most commonly hearing loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.