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What is CMV?

CMV, or Cytomegalovirus, is a common virus that can infect people of all ages. Once CMV is in a person’s body, it stays there for life. Most healthy adults and children who become infected will have no signs or symptoms and no long term effects from CMV. It can however pose serious risks to unborn babies if a pregnant woman catches it for the first time. Congenital CMV is when a baby has been infected before birth. It is one of the leading causes of hearing loss in children and one of the main causes of childhood disability.

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2 to 3

babies everyday will be damaged by CMV

1 in 5

children with the virus will develop permanent problems due to CMV


of child hearing loss is caused by CMV infection

Reducing the Risk

Avoid sharing cutlery and cups

Avoid putting things in your mouth that have just been in a child’s mouth. When possible, try not to share food, cups or cutlery, or put your child’s dummy in your mouth.

Wash any items which may have been in contact with a child’s saliva or urine.

Wash hands

Wash your hands after contact with a child’s urine or saliva. For example, try to make a habit of cleaning your hands after changing a nappy, feeding a child or wiping a child’s nose or mouth.

Wash your hands well for 20 seconds with soap and water. If you do not have access to soap and water, use hand sanitiser.

Avoid Kissing on the Mouth

Avoid getting saliva in your mouth when kissing a child. You can do this by trying to give more kisses on the head, together with a big hug.

Our Recommendations

Wash Hands


Risk reduction advice should be routinely given to pregnant women.



Produce and implement clinical guidelines and pathways for testing, improved diagnosis and management of cCMV.


Targeted Screening

Targeted screening for cCMV in children who fail a newborn hearing test to enable affected children to receive treatment much sooner.


Universal Screening

Universal screening for cCMV to enable affected children to receive treatment much sooner.



Invest in research to support clinical decision making.



Develop a vaccine to end CMV. Eradicate CMV once and for all.

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Diagnosis as a babyDiagnosis at birthHearing LossOur Stories


Leah & Beth: A Story of Love and Resilience When I was pregnant, I had…
Diagnosis as a babyOur Stories


Pregnancy was the easy bit! A fairly broad statement but it was! I loved being…
Diagnosis in pregnancyOur Stories


I have numerous conditions and complications affected by CMV. I'm partially deaf, ADHD, cerebral palsy…
Diagnosis as a babyHealth ProfessionalsOur Stories

Christine & Ellie

My fellow GPs need to take action now. GP Christine Wheatley, wants GPs to take…
Diagnosis in pregnancyOur Stories

Ethan Isaiah

Hi my name is Suzanne, I'm a mum to an only child.. Ethan Isaiah. Ethan…
Diagnosis as a childOur Stories

Lynda & Imogen

Lynda’s daughter looked perfectly healthy when she was born. Six months later Lynda noticed she…
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Get Involved



We do not receive any government funding and it costs our charity £20,000 a year to help and support families affected by CMV.

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CMV Action is a small charity with only 1 part time employee but we potentially need to reach every one of the 750,000 women who give birth in the UK every year. Find out ways to volunteer with CMV Action.

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Raise Awareness

Raising Awareness

At CMV Action our mission is to limit the devastating impact of CMV for those currently affected and for future generations. We offer advice and support to anyone affected by congenital CMV and we work with medical professionals, support research and raise awareness of the virus.

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    Who we help

    Pregnant Women

    Pregnant Women

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    Working with Small Children

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    Health Professionals

    Health Professionals

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