Maine will require neonatal testing for virus that causes hearing loss

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AUGUSTA — Maine is set to require testing of some newborns in the state for a potentially debilitating virus.

On Monday, the Maine Senate voted unanimously to enact a bill requiring certain babies to be tested for cytomegalovirus, sending the bill to the governor.

Democratic Senator Cathy Breen of Falmouth’s proposal would require the state to test every infant for the virus if the baby fails two hearing tests.

Cytomegalovirus is a common virus in the United States that causes no signs or symptoms in most people. One in 200 babies is born with the virus, and about one in five will develop long-term health problems, officials said. The virus can cause hearing loss, deafness, developmental delay, vision loss and seizures.

Maine could become one of more than a dozen states that have passed laws to combat the virus, also known as CMV.


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