On Monday, Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed Senate bill No. 1060 that would require the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to make available information about Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, to the public, particularly pregnant women and women who may become pregnant.
Annually, $15,000 will be allocated to provide this new service.
CMV causes an estimated 400 deaths each year and permanent disabilities in about 8,000 children, according to statistics by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The stated purpose of the bill is to ensure the women of Idaho and their doctors have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information available regarding cytomegalovirus (CMV) prevention, infection, and treatment. Appropriate dissemination of this information will foreseeably prevent the infection of numerous babies in utero, thereby saving the State of Idaho millions of dollars in the care and treatment of various disabilities that are associated with congenital CMV infection.
It’s just the beginning according to the Idaho CMV Advocacy Project, a Nampa based advocacy group. The focus now is on education and awareness, next session they intend on addressing hearing screening.
“This will give babies with asymptotic congenital CMV infections (babies whose infection, without testing, would have gone undetected) earlier interventions and better developmental outcomes”, says Idaho CMV Advocacy Project member Rebekah Hall.
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