News: CDC: Pregnant women need to know more about cytomegalovirus risk

April 15, 2008

Fewer than half of ob/gyns counsel pregnant patients on risk of congenital cytomegalovirus and on preventive measures.

Fewer than half of obstetricians and gynecologists counsel pregnant patients on the risk of congenital cytomegalovirus and on preventive measures they can take to minimize the chances of infection, according to a report published in the Jan. 25 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

B. Anderson, PhD, of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and colleagues surveyed 305 ob/gyns on their knowledge of cytomegalovirus prevention and on their communication to pregnant patients regarding cytomegalovirus.

Although 90% said they knew that the risk of cytomegalovirus infection during pregnancy could be reduced by handwashing, only 60% reported advising their pregnant patients to do so, and only 44% counseled their patients specifically on avoiding cytomegalovirus infection. Since 2003, nearly 27% of respondents had diagnosed cytomegalovirus infection in a pregnant patient.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Knowledge and practices of obstetricians and gynecologists regarding cytomegalovirus infection during pregnancy-United States, 2007. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2008;57:65-68.