Elizabeth’s Law for CMV Education Pass in New York 2022


Courtesy of Lisa Saunders

Elizabeth’s Law for CMV Education Pass in New York

Recently signed by New York Governor Kathy Hochul Elizabeth’s Lawwhich requires that child care providers and certain physicians be given information about the side effects, dangers, treatments and methods of preventing cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection.

While CMV is a common virus for people of all ages, children born with congenital CMV can be seriously ill. later health problemssuch as hearing loss, developmental delay, vision loss or seizures. According to the CDCCMV is the main viral cause of birth defects.

The new law is named after Elizabeth Saunders, daughter of Lisa Saunders. Elizabeth was born with congenital CMV, and died during a seizure at age 16. Lisa was a babysitter while she was pregnant with Elizabeth.

“Women who have or are nursing children have a higher risk of contracting CMV,” Lisa said in a press release.

After her experience, Lisa wants to spread awareness and information about CMV and give other people a chance to learn how to protect their pregnancies from CMV.

Elizabeth's Law for CMV Education Pass in New York
Lisa Saunders and her daughter, Elizabeth. Courtesy of Lisa Saunders

“I believe this new law will help many families avoid the heartache we suffered because of our daughter’s suffering until her death at Nyack Hospital due to a seizure,” said Lisa.

Dr. Sallie Permar, chair of the department of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine, says that this law will help connect expectant parents with important information.

“Expectant parents and caregivers in New York will be empowered to prevent the transmission of congenital CMV, the leading cause of birth defects and brain damage in children, thanks to this law,” said dr. Permanent.

Elizabeth’s Law in New York is the latest example of Lisa’s efforts to change policy in memory of her daughter. While living in Connecticut, he was able to help pass a law Require that newborns be tested for CMV if they fail their hearing screen.

A similar law was passed in New York in 2018. Mothers, doctors and early interventionists are looking to amend this law and require that all newborns be tested for CMV. Earlier this year, Minnesota passed the law as such, became the first state to pass a law requiring every newborn to be tested for CMV.

Parents and caregivers can reduce their risk to get CMV by reducing contact with saliva and urine from infants and children. This includes limiting the sharing of foods and utensils with children and washing your hands thoroughly after changing diapers.

The CDC has information about CMV for parents and healthcare providersas well as general information about CMV.

Help children with Congenital CMV get the care they need.  Regular hearing checks, routine vision screening, developmental milestone checks.  Learn more at www.cdc.gov/cmv
Psst… What you need to know about the lack of antivirals and antibiotics.



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