Department of Pediatrics

Precautions and Prevention


Frequently Asked Questions


Answers to your most frequently asked questions regarding the facts of CMV. Download or print the National CMV Registry brochure in English or Spanish.


Item Term
If I have given birth to a baby with CMV, should I be concerned about future pregnancies?

Item Definition

The risk of delivering a second child with congenital CMV disease is remote. It is possible for your previous CMV infection to become active like a new infection again (recurrent infection). However, in healthy pregnant women, recurrence does not pose the same risk for serious disease in the newborn as does a primary or first-time CMV infection. If you have previously had the virus, your body has antibodies against CMV which, along with other immune factors, appears to protect the fetus from serious illness due to CMV infection.

Item Term
Can I prevent catching CMV?

Item Definition

CMV infections are common in toddlers and preschool age children, and the virus frequently is transmitted in family or group day-care settings. In fact, most people will experience a CMV infection at sometime. However, there are special times, such as during pregnancy, when CMV infections should be avoided, if possible. The spread of the virus can be controlled by practicing good hygiene techniques. The "Universal Precautions" practiced by health professionals and others who come in contact with body fluids are sufficient to prevent transmission of CMV. Although no actions can totally eliminate all risks of catching CMV, precautionary measures that can be taken to help control the spread of infection in the home and other settings include: -Do not kiss children younger than 5 or 6 years of age on the mouth or cheek. Instead, kiss them on the forehead or the top of the head and give them a big long hug. -Do not share food, drinks, or items such as utensils or toothbrushes with young children. -Do wash your hands with soap and water after changing diapers or after having contact with a child's saliva. -Day-care center workers also may wear gloves when changing the diapers of young children. -Because young children, especially toddlers, frequently put toys in their mouths, toys should be washed with soap and water or wiped with a solution of one-part chlorine bleach to nine-parts water, followed by a tap water rinse.

Item Term
Is there a vaccine against CMV?

Item Definition

There is no licensed vaccine against CMV at this time. However, research is being conducted on the safety and effectiveness of different experimental CMV vaccines.