Pregnant mums have been warned not to finish their young child’s dinner or give them a kiss goodnight — as they could pass on a “stealth virus” to their unborn child.
CMV — or cytomegalovirus — can be transmitted through children’s saliva, which is often found on part-eaten food and picked up through kissing.
Scientists at St George’s, University of London have warned that it may put them at risk of cerebral palsy, deafness and developmental delay.
CMV affects around 1,000 babies every year and can cause severe disabilities. Approximately one in five babies with congenital CMV will have long term health problems.
Babies who are born with the infection but who do not show symptoms are still at risk of developing complications, such as deafness, later on in life, shares Daily Mail.
Dr Chrissie Jones last night said: ‘The most important message is not to come into contact with the saliva of a young child.
‘We would discourage women from sharing food. It’s quite common for parents to finish uneaten meals, such as fish fingers.
‘Don’t kiss your children directly on the lips, kiss them on the forehead.’
Dr Jones added: ‘For pregnant women, the most common way [to catch it] would be from a young child who is shedding the virus in urine and saliva.
‘It’s those children those are going to nursery or playgroup who are most likely to pick up CMV from another child.’
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