Bill would push CMV education

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 10:29 AM

Antone Clark

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would make Utah the first state to proactively promote screening and education programs for cytomegalovirus (CMV) has cleared a House committee and now goes to the full House.

HB 81, sponsored by Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, directs the Department of Health to establish a public education program to educate people on the impact and dangers of congenital CMV infection and methods of preventing the virus.

CMV is an infection that can be transmitted during pregnancy and can lead to a number of problems for the child. In some cases the virus has been linked to mental disabilities, and in some extreme cases, death.

The issue is personal to Menlove. She has a granddaughter who was diagnosed with CMV despite extensive health screenings and is hearing impaired. She stressed that her bill is an effort to promote education to prevent the possible transmission of CMV and to help people who have been diagnosed get access to possible options.

The committee heard testimony for more than an hour from mothers who have children with CMV and from a pair of doctors who are working to refine the process of diagnosing and treating the virus.

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