CMV Exposure in Pregnancy

Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is a herpes virus that most women of child-bearing age have already acquired.

If you become infected with CMV while you're pregnant, there is a one-in-three chance that you could pass the virus to your unborn baby. If you are infected with CMV before you become pregnant, that risk is reduced to about one-in-100. Pregnant women who are healthy are not at special risk for disease from a CMV infection.

Most babies with congenital (meaning from birth) CMV never have health problems. However, in some babies congenital CMV causes health problems when the baby is born or later in the baby's life.

There is no vaccine to prevent CMV infection. There are certain steps that pregnant women can take to reduce their risk of getting CMV: wash your hands with soap and water after changing diapers and after coming into contact with children's body fluids; avoid kissing young children on the face or lips; and don't share food, drinks, or eating utensils with young children.

The CDC does not recommend excluding pregnant health care workers from caring for patients with known CMV infection. Health care workers should be careful with all patients they encounter. Spread of CMV requires direct contact with virus-containing secretions. Hand washing and using gloves are excellent ways to prevent infection.

Additional information:

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Keywords: CMV, cytomegalovirus