CONGENITAL CYTOMEGALOVIRUS and DEAFNESS

Arthur N. Schildroth
Center for Assessment and Demographic Studies
Gallaudet University

Abstract

Although the incidence of medical and neurological problems resulting from congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is relatively low, the widespread and indiscriminate nature of this infection and the severity of these conditions when they do occur are such that it warrants the close attention of medical specialists, audiologists, and educators. The identification of congenital CMV is especially difficult because of its largely non-symptomatic character and because conditions associated with it, including hearing impairment, can be either progressive in nature or occur only later in life. Data reviewed in this study resemble those reported for hearing impaired children from the 1964-65 maternal rubella epidemic: hearing loss in the severe to profound range, often accompanied by serious additional disabilities, especially mental retardation and cerebral palsy. Depressed achievement test results of children with CMV-induced hearing loss are further indications of the serious nature of this disease.

The presence of any symptoms of CMV infection in infants or of risk factors associated with it -- e.g., purplish sky rash, severe asphyxia, jaundice, low birth weight, swollen lymph glands and other mononucleosis-like symptoms -- signals the need for immediate testing, including audiological evaluation, and, if results are positive, the initiation of early medical and educational intervention.

Complete journal article: "Congenital Cytomegalovirus and Deafness", American Journal of Audiology, July,1994, by Arthur Schildroth.

[Last modified: 2011.12.05 16:50:34. by Kevin Cole]

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