Maine requires testing for viruses that cause hearing loss – Boston News, Weather, Sports

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine is close to requiring screening for a potentially disabling virus in some newborns in the state.

The Maine Senate on Monday voted unanimously to pass a bill requiring cytomegalovirus screening for some babies, and sent the bill to the governor.

The proposal by Democratic Senator Cathy Breen of Falmouth would require the state to test each infant for the virus if the child does not pass two hearing tests.

Cytomegalovirus is a common virus in the United States that does not cause signs or symptoms in most people. One in every 200 babies is born with the virus, and about one in five of them will develop long-term health problems, officials said. The virus can lead to hearing loss, deafness, developmental delay, vision loss and seizures.

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

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