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