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In the US, cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most frequent congenital infection, affecting approximately 30,000 newborns or 1 in 150 children each year. In Utah, this roughly equates to one newborn per day.

A newborn with CMV infection does not exhibit any symptoms. But the virus is likely damage to eyes, brain and inner ear. CMV also ranks for 6 to 30% hearing loss in children in the US. A Utah law has led to rise in early identification of infants with hearing loss owing to a congenital infection, says a study.

The state of Utah has the highest birth rate in the nation. It was the first to decree CMV screening for those infants who have failed in newborn hearing tests.

"This is important because timely identification of hearing loss can enable earlier intervention, which is linked to better language outcomes for children” said Marissa Diener, the study lead.

The Utah legislation also provided money for educational campaigns on congenital CMV. This was important because only a few were familiar with it. The study’s next step is to evaluate how the execution of a state-wide investigation can filter hearing loss in infants because of (CMV).

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