Pregnant women warned not to finish off their kids' leftover over 'stealth virus' concerns 4 months ago

Pregnant women warned not to finish off their kids' leftover over 'stealth virus' concerns

I don't know about you, but I am forever finding myself finishing off my kids' leftovers. 

I mean; waste not, want not, right?

This, however, is not something you should be doing if you pregnant, as it happens.

According to scientists at St George's University of London, pregnant women could catch a ‘stealth virus’ from eating their kids' leftovers that could seriously harm their unborn child.

In fact, the little-known virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is a major cause for disability, and experts are now trying to raise awareness about the condition, which may cause deafness, development delay and even cerebral palsy.

About CMV

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that is similar to the herpes pathogen that causes cold sores and chickenpox.

Although previously thought to be harmless, research released in September 2018 suggests it can trigger inflammation and the build up of plaque in arteries, which are both linked to heart disease.

CMV can also cause problems if a baby catches it during pregnancy.

Once a person becomes infected, CMV stays in their body for the rest of their life.

The virus is spread via contact and bodily fluids.

Many are unaware they have CMV, however, some may experience a high temperature, fatigue, nausea or a sore throat when first infected.

CMV is not treated unless it affects a baby or a person with a weak immune system, in which case anti-viral drugs are given. There is no vaccine.

Source: NHS Choices 

This is what Dr Anna Calvert, researcher at St George’s, had to say: "One of the frustrations that families have is that they didn’t know anything about the virus."

The congenital virus can be transmitted through children’s saliva, often found on their uneaten food left on the plate.

If you are pregnant and have other children under the age of six, CMV Action recommends taking the following precautionary measures:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after changing nappies
  • not kissing children on the mouth or cheek (kiss them on the forehead instead and give them lots of hugs)
  • not sharing food, drinks or cutlery with children under six.