New Jersey's 24th Legislative District

Senator Steven Oroho

Senator Steve Oroho

Senate Approves Oroho Bill that Would Require Important Health Screening for Infants

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho that would require newborn infants to be screened for congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection was approved by the New Jersey Senate.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Steve Oroho that would require newborn infants to be screened for congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection was approved by the New Jersey Senate. (Pixabay)

“Congenital cytomegalovirus infection can be a potentiality life threatening illness for infants. And, as is the case with most illnesses, early testing and treatment are critical to a positive outcome,” said Oroho (R-24). “This legislation will provide a vital benefit to mothers, fathers, and newborn infants in New Jersey by implementing early testing for congenital CMV throughout the state. Every parent deserves to know if their child has this illness and what steps to take next if they do.”

The bill, S-3975, requires all infants born in New Jersey to be tested for congenital CMV infection. Although CMV is usually harmless for most individuals, if a pregnant woman is infected, it can be passed to a developing infant, which causes a congenital CMV infection. One in every five children born with such an infection will develop permanent health problems.

The legislation also requires the Commissioner of Health to establish a public awareness campaign to educate women who are pregnant about congenital CMV and the value of early detection and treatment.

“The Legislature has a responsibility to safeguard every human life,” added Oroho. “Together, with early testing and treatment, we can help significantly improve the lives of thousands of people every year.”

Cytomegalovirus affects one in every 200 newborns, or approximately 30,000 infants born each year, making it the most common congenital viral infection in the United States. Some babies with signs of congenital cytomegalovirus infection at birth may have long-term health problems such as hearing or vision loss, or seizures.

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