Congenital Cytomegalovirus in Children

  • Overview

    You’re likely to be confused and overwhelmed—not to mention scared—if your infant has been diagnosed with congenital cytomegalovirus. But you can play an active role in helping him get better. Developing a basic understanding of the condition is a great first step as you partner with your child’s health care team to form a treatment plan.

    • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus related to the herpes virus group of infections.
    • Like herpes, it is inactive at times, but it is incurable and is a lifetime infection.
    • It’s the most common congenital viral infection.
      • About 1 in 150 children born in the United States has congenital CMV.
      • 80 percent of kids with congenital CMV never develop any symptoms or disabilities.
      • The other 20 percent can have problems related to breathing, hearing and seeing, as well as mental disabilities.

    If we find that your baby has been infected with CMV, treatment should begin right away to ensure that the condition has a minimal effect on her health.

    How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches congenital cytomegalovirus

    Here at Children’s, physicians in our Division of Infectious Diseases treats congenital cytomegalovirus in infants.

    Physicians in the Division of Infectious Diseases care for children and adolescents with a variety of infections.

    • In addition to treating children, we also are dedicated to researching better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent infectious diseases.

    Newborn medicine

    At Boston Children's Division of Newborn Medicine, we specialize in treating babies with a wide range of congenital and acquired conditions. Your baby will be seen by a specially trained team of physicians, nurses, therapists and other health professionals who routinely diagnose and treat newborns with critical illnesses.

    Leading the way in fetal and neonatal care

    Babies who have a congenital neurological condition need intense, specialized care. At the Fetal-Neonatal Neurology Program at Children’s, we provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for these young children. Because newborns’ brains are in a crucial window of rapid development, we identify problems as early as possible and intervene quickly.

    How does the Boston Children’s treat congenital cytomegalovirus?
    It’s a fairly simple process. We treat babies born with congenital CMV with a course of intravenous antiviral medication over a period of several weeks.

    • The most commonly used treatments for congenital CMV are called ganciclovir and valganciclovir.
    • Though CMV is a lifelong infection, most babies who receive this treatment won’t experience any other symptoms.
      Essential support services

      Read about general information and resources for Children’s patients and their families.

    Cytomegalovirus: Reviewed by Sandra Burchett
    © Boston Children’s Hospital; posted in 2011

Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

Patient Information
Date of Birth:
Contact Information
Appointment Details
Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
Please complete all required fields

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

Thank you.

Your request has been successfully submitted

You will be contacted within 1 business day.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

617-355-6000 +1-617-355-6000
close
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
BrowseSearch
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
Show Items Starting With: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
View allSearch
Locations
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
Close