The CMVirus Pledge

The CMVirus Pledge

September is Newborn Screening Month. Newborn screening (NBS) began in the 1960s with a screen for Phenylketonuria (PKU), but since, NBS has expanded to 35 core conditions and 26 secondary conditions per the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP). It is a state public health service that reaches the ~4 million babies born in the United States per year, allowing for timely diagnosis and often rapid decision-making, or opportunities for effective counseling and ongoing monitoring, before potential harmful effects may happen.
 
Conditions on the RUSP are recommended by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and chosen based on evidence that supports the potential net benefit of screening, the ability of states to screen for the disorder, and the availability of effective treatments.
 
It is recommended that every newborn be screened for all disorders on the RUSP. Most states screen for the majority (29 of 35), some are still pending adoption, and other states screen for additional disorders. The individual states have final authority in determining the disorders their NBS program will screen for.
 
In April 2019, the National CMV Foundation and the CMV RUSP Nomination Team announced the submission of cytomegalovirus (CMV or CMVirus) to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (SACHDNC) for inclusion on the RUSP.
 
Our primary talking points? A clinical diagnosis empowers families to help their child reach their full potential. Identification avoids the diagnostic odyssey later in a child’s life costing families, payers, providers, and the government in expenses, emotional fatigue, and sometimes tragedy. And, early intervention IS treatment! Early intervention may reduce the need for specialized instructional support; it can improve outcomes and quality of life.
 
To support our efforts, please visit Screen4CMV.org and sign our petition requesting SACHDNC’s consideration and nomination for RUSP inclusion and universal newborn screening.
 
Make your voice heard.

Note: CMVirus is a global public health issue. The actress is using British Sign Language (BSL).