Several health and medical research studies have shown that the infant has higher chances of hearing loss when the mother has congenital cytomegalovirus (or CMV) while pregnant with the baby. This risk is higher when the mother acquires the said infection during the earlier stages of her pregnancy.
CMV is a type of virus that is quite common. In fact, over half of the US population is infected with it. This type of virus does not pose any threat to adults with a healthy immune system though. However, it is critical when acquired by a pregnant mother, thus threatening the health of the infant she is about to deliver.
Due to the common nature of the CMV virus, health experts are looking closely into this in the hopes of preventing the acquisition of the virus and exposing the fetus to hearing loss upon birth. As of now, researchers have posted a 22 percent likelihood that an infant can suffer from nerve damage and develop sensorineural hearing loss.
The connection between the CMV virus and the vulnerabilities of a fetus’ hearing capacity is determined in the ear’s embryological development while in the mother’s womb. Since this biological process takes place between the mother’s third and fourth week of pregnancy, that also explains why acquiring the CMV virus during the first trimester makes the infant more vulnerable.