The most common viral infection of newborn babies does NOT start with a "Z"
Congenital CMV affects one in every 200 babies born each year (approximately 30,000 children annually), making it the most common congenital viral infection in the United States. Of that statistic, one in every five children born with congenital CMV will develop permanent health problems (roughly 6,000 children) with as many as 400 infant deaths annually.
Congenital CMV infection is arguably the most common preventable cause of neonatal disability in the United States. More children will have disabilities due to congenital CMV than other well-known infections and syndromes, including Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and Pediatric HIV/AIDS.
Nearly 90% of infants born with congenital CMV appear healthy at birth, and the vast majority will not have any visible symptoms or long-term issues. Health problems or disabilities caused by congenital CMV infection can sometimes appear roughly two or more years after birth.
Infants and children who are infected with CMV after birth rarely present with symptoms and will not be exposed to any permanent problems or disabilities.