A report by CMV Action says that congenital CMV costs the UK £750 million a year, with the majority of the cost being spent on supporting children with long-term impairments caused by the cytomegalovirus (CMV).
According to the report ‘Counting the Cost of CMV’, 40% of this cost directly impacts the NHS, with £420 million impacting lost work days and personal cost of specialist equipment and therapies for children affected by CMV.
The report suggests there is a lack of awareness among parents and medical professionals and that CMV is rarely discussed at antenatal appointments.
“For a virus that is rarely discussed in routine antenatal care, and about which there is a lack of awareness among parents and medical professionals alike, this is a considerable economic burden,” it says.
It also highlights ‘shocking lack of evidence exists in the UK’ for congenital CMV, with the York Health Economics Commission finding CMV prevalence and incidence rates specific, to the UK, more than 20 years old and few large-scale follow-up studies.
As part of the report, the cost of conditions caused by congenital CMV were also outlined.
The most common neurodevelopmental impairment resulting from congenital CMV is sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), costing overall £130 million per year.
Autism spectrum disorder accounted for 50-60% of costs across all costs of conditions caused by congenital CMV.
Every day in the UK, two to three new born babies will be affected by CMV.
The report ‘Counting the Cost of CMV’ can be found here.
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