Black and white photo of a man and wife each holding one of their young daughters, smiling to camera

CPA Joins Forces to Combat CMV During Awareness Month

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a widespread yet little-known virus that poses a significant threat to newborns. Around 80% of adults will be infected by the age of 40. Generally, it's harmless. However, CMV infection during pregnancy can severely damage a baby’s developing brain, leading to lifelong disabilities.

Each year, around 400 babies in Australia are affected by CMV, resulting in conditions such as epilepsy, hearing loss, intellectual impairment, and, in rare cases, death. Crucially for us at CPA, CMV is linked to 10% of cerebral palsy cases.  

But despite its prevalence and significant impact, only 14% of Australian women aged 20-40 are aware of the hygiene precautions that can reduce the risk of CMV during pregnancy. And the lack of awareness is much more widespread than expecting mums. The awareness rates are also alarmingly low amongst maternal health professionals, leaving pregnant people without the advice they need to protect themselves and their babies.without the advice they need to protect themselves and their babies. 

To address this, CPA has combined with CMV Association to promote preventative measures. Since 2017 we have collaborated on CMV Awareness Month annually in June. 

This month, we are rolling out a public health campaign to raise awareness of the three simple steps to reduce the risk of CMV infection: 



Wash your hands after activities such as changing nappies. 


Avoid contact with saliva by kissing your baby on the forehead instead of the lips. 


Avoid putting a child’s dummy or toothbrush in your mouth, and refrain from sharing food, cutlery, or utensils with infants. 


These steps can significantly reduce the risk of CMV infection in pregnancy and protect countless babies from serious health complications. 

Check out our social media resources designed to help you spread the word about CMV prevention, available on our website, and help us raise awareness this CMV Awareness Month. 

You can also listen to this ABC Radio interview with Hanako, a mum whose baby had a CMV infection during pregnancy or check out this podcast by leading podcast Australian Birth Stories with Gemma, whose twins were affected by congenital CMV.  

Stay tuned for more information across June as we mark CMV Awareness Month!