Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a member of the herpes family of viruses, which is transmitted by sexual and non-sexual contact. Human CMV causes a wide variety of infection and illness in healthy adults, in those with compromised immune systems (such as AIDS), in those with cardiovascular disease, and in pregnant women who can pass the infection to their unborn child (congenital CMV). Treatment options for congenital CMV are limited and no effective vaccine to protect against CMV currently exists. Previous studies have demonstrated that African Americans and Mexican Americans are at an increased risk for congenital CMV infections. In this study, the authors examined death certificate data of US Residents from 1990–2006 in which congenital CMV was listed as one of the diagnoses at death. The analysis demonstrated that there is a significant burden of congenital CMV deaths in infants (<1 year old) with African Americans and Native Americans overrepresented. This study helps quantify congenital CMV deaths among US residents and adds further support to the importance of funding CMV vaccine research
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