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CMV is the #1 infectious cause of birth defects in the United States

91% of women have never heard of CMV.

Together we can change that.
What exactly is

Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is a viral infection that presents symptoms in adults much like a common cold. For most people, CMV does not pose a health risk. But for some, like people who have a weakened immune system or newborns, CMV could have serious consequences.

In the US,

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a baby is born with CMV.

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Moms can unknowingly pass the infection to their unborn baby, potentially causing long-term defects. Moms-to-be should talk to their doctors about CMV and take precautions.

CMV, the #1 infectious cause of birth defects, could be prevented by simple things, such as washing your hands.

CMV infections in infants can lead to:

  • Hearing loss
  • Vision impairment
  • Learning disability
  • Decreased muscle strength and coordination

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CMV is a leading infectious cause of non-genetic pediatric hearing loss.
CMV is a leading infectious cause of non-genetic pediatric hearing loss.
CMV is a leading infectious cause of non-genetic pediatric hearing loss.
What you should know

1 in 3 expecting mothers with CMV may pass it on to their babies. When there are other children or toddlers in the household, that risk increases. 

It’s even higher in Black communities, at 2 times the rate of others.

The more people are educated about CMV, the better chance we have at reducing the spread.


CMV infection is


higher in Black infants

Transmission of CMV typically occurs through direct contact with bodily fluid, including saliva, urine, blood, tears and breast milk.

In adults, symptoms may include fatigue, fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, or headaches.

Signs of a potential CMV infection at birth:

  • Rash
  • Jaundice

    (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes)

  • Microcephaly

    (small head)

  • Low birth weight
  • Hepatosplenomegaly

    (enlarged liver and spleen)

  • Seizures
  • Retinitis

    (damaged eye retina)

One of the most proactive and effective ways to prevent CMV transmission is to practice simple hygiene practices—the ones which are already a part of our lives.

Help prevent CMV transmission by:

  • Not sharing food, utensils, drinks or straws
  • Never putting a pacifier in your mouth
  • Only using your own toothbrush
  • Avoiding contact with saliva when kissing a child
  • Washing your hands

Now you know. Spread the word.

To help you help us get the word out, we’ve put together a series of ready-to-post, bite-sized facts and infographics. All made for you to easily share online with your friends, followers, and connections.


Download shareable facts

See how Moderna contributes to the science that helps us understand and prevent infectious diseases.