Each year in the United States, 30,000 to 40,000 infants are born congenitally infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV), and more than 9,000 of these children suffer permanent sequelae. The purpose of this workshop was to present and discuss current information on the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of CMV disease in mothers and their infants. The participants concluded that congenital CMV disease is a significant public health problem that, to date, has been largely ignored. They also agreed that certain child-rearing practices, such as the common use of day-care centers and breast-feeding, have changed the epidemiology of CMV in the United States and that the next decade may bring an increase in congenital CMV disease in certain groups. Therefore, a national system for surveillance of congenital CMV disease was established; its goals are to characterize trends over time, to identify risk groups, and to lay the groundwork for evaluation of future intervention programs. In addition, the surveillance system will be used to educate the medical and lay communities about congenital CMV disease and to facilitate collaborative efforts in research.

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