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February 2019 Update

Early Identification and Intervention

Happy February Everyone!

February is International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month. According to the CDC, the leading viral cause of birth defects is Cytomegalovirus (CMV). Recently, some State Deaf-Blind Projects have been working on efforts to identify children with CMV as early as possible, as vision and hearing loss are frequently associated with CMV. This list from NCBD highlights the primary etiologies related to deaf-blindness by frequency, and CMV is in the top 5. Below are a few resources on CMV that may be of interest to you.

  • CDC Website on CMV
  • CMV Legislation in the areas of education and screening has now passed in 11 states, for more information, you can visit the National CMV Foundation Website.
  • The annual CMV conference is occurring in Birmingham on April 7, 2019. Registration Deadline is February 22, 2019. 
  • Upcoming Webinar on May 22nd, 2019: Cytomegalovirus and Hearing Loss sponsored by Hear to Learn. Hear to Learn offers a monthly webinar series through the Utah State University Listening and Spoken Language Program, Sound Beginnings.
  • Utah is one of a number of states that has a current Public Health Initiative around CMV. If any of your families or colleagues are working within your states to build awareness around CMV, the Public Health Initiative on CMV website includes information around legislation, media campaigns, and training.
If your state is working on CMV identification, screening, and/or education efforts, I would like to hear from you! Also, as I continue to work on revising the EI Toolbox, I have two questions:

  1. Does a representative from your project sit on your state's Part C Interagency Coordinating Council? If so, has that aided in your identification work of children 0-3? If you have ideas or suggestions for how to work with your state Part C agency to become a member, I’d love to hear from you!
  2. I am working on a flowchart that illustrates referral paths from early intervention agencies to state deaf-blind projects. If any of you have one that shares the process/flow for your state, let’s chat! You can contact me at or we can touch base in Austin in just a few weeks.
Thanks, all, and see you at Summit! Emma

Emma Nelson

Posted 5 Mo. Ago by Emma Nelson

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Comments (3)

I have a friend whose daughter contracted CMV. She has worked tirelessly on legislative efforts in Iowa and had much success this past legislative session. Thank you for sharing this information! It is so important.

Rita Fredericks

Posted 5 Mo. Ago by Rita Fredericks

Great to see this work, Emma! We’ll continue to be in touch.

Katie  Humes

Posted 5 Mo. Ago by Katie Humes

Wow, Emma- this is terrific info and thank you for the Feb update. We have not specifically targeted CMV identification, but looking at these resources perhaps we could take some extra specific steps in this area. The NY Part C Interagency Coordinating Council is not easy to get on (or even to get a response from a member), but we have participated in the portion of their meetings which is open to the public, and it has at least resulted in some good new contacts to ID and refer kids. Thanks again for this great work.

Christopher Russell

Posted 5 Mo. Ago by Christopher Russell

NCDB : The Research Institute : Western Oregon University : 345 N. Monmouth Ave. : Monmouth, OR 97361
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