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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2006 (2006), Article ID 80383, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Knowledge and Awareness of Congenital Cytomegalovirus Among Women

1National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta 30333, GA, USA
2Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta 30322, GA, USA
3National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta 30333, GA, USA
4Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298, VA, USA
5Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston 60208, IL, USA
6Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston 77030, TX, USA
7Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham 35213, AL, USA
8Children's Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland 44104, OH, USA
9Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta 30322, GA, USA

Received 2 August 2006; Accepted 13 September 2006

Copyright © 2006 Jiyeon Jeon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a leading cause of disabilities in children, yet the general public appears to have little awareness of CMV. Methods. Women were surveyed about newborn infections at 7 different geographic locations. Results. Of the 643 women surveyed, 142 (22%) had heard of congenital CMV. Awareness increased with increasing levels of education (P<.0001). Women who had worked as a healthcare professional had a higher prevalence of awareness of CMV than had other women (56% versus 16%, P <.0001). Women who were aware of CMV were most likely to have heard about it from a healthcare provider (54%), but most could not correctly identify modes of CMV transmission or prevention. Among common causes of birth defects and childhood illnesses, women's awareness of CMV ranked last. Conclusion. Despite its large public health burden, few women had heard of congenital CMV, and even fewer were aware of prevention strategies.