CMV is a common virus with 80% of the population having it before they are 40. To children and adults alike it is an innocuous virus that would present symptoms similar to the common cold (if at all). For unborn babies, with no viable immune system, the virus is left unfettered to reek its havoc. Depending on numerous factors it can cause severe and fundamental problems or, as you can see below, more mild damage to the extent that a baby will exhibit no symptoms at all.
Where Orla will end up is anyone’s guess. We know she is deaf and has an abnormal brain MRI, otherwise she is a healthy little girl and we remain hopeful she has mild to moderate symptoms…only time will tell as we watch her develop.
A few fun facts:
CMV is more prevelant than Down’s Syndrome effecting 1,000 babies a year.
It is one of the leading causes of disability in children in the UK.
Have you ever heard of it? Less then 30% of expecting mothers have heard of CMV compared to 98% for Down’s.
Families already with young children are most at risk.
In France and Germany it is ILLEGAL for expecting mothers to work with small children specifically due to the risk CMV presents.
Check out the CMV Action and OrlaUP pages to learn more.