LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It's called Cytomegalovirus, or CMV. Children and adults may be infected and not even know it, but it can be very damaging to a pregnancy.
Dr. Ed Yeoman, Chairman of Ob-Gyn at Texas Tech, warns that this is a DNA virus in the herpes family and it can be the most harmful early in a pregnancy.
Yeoman says, "The first trimester cases are the worst. If it's a severe infection, the mortality for the baby can be 30 percent. It's not respiratory transmission, it's fluid transmission. So, a very common source is a day care center where children are playing and they have the virus. They exchange toys in the mouth. Then, the mom comes and is exposed to the virus in that way."
Dr. Yeoman says many of us have been exposed already and have built an immunity to the virus. The problem is we don't know if we have been exposed. So, without knowing, he says the best way to protect against a first infection during a pregnancy is frequent hand washing.
That's the best way to kill the virus before it can be transmitted through the mother to a newborn.