Female Age: 20

Background:

CMV is a common herpes virus that can cause a "silent" infection with no visible symptoms, although some people may have fatigue, fever, and other symptoms similar to mononucleosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CMV is the leading cause of congenital viral infection in the United States. About 30-50 percent of women of childbearing age are susceptible to CMV infection, but healthy pregnant women likely won't become ill. However, if their virus is transmitted to a developing fetus, the baby will be infected with congenital CMV.

Most babies with congenital CMV infection do not have complications. However, about 1 in 5 will have hearing loss or other permanent disabilities, such as developmental disabilities. Every year, more than 5,000 U. S. children are diagnosed with permanent disabilities caused by congenital CMV, including hearing and/or vision loss; developmental disabilities; seizures; and liver, spleen, or lung conditions, the CDC reports.

Jaida and other pregnant women can contract CMV through children's saliva and urine or through sexual activity.