Sunday, March 18, 2018

5/9: CMV, #1 Birth Defects Virus--book and song launched to protect newborns

I helped Connecticut pass a 2016 law aimed at battling the leading viral cause of birth defects, congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV), which disables 4,000 newborns each year in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although the CMV testing part of the CT bill passed, prevention education didn’t pass. 

According to the New York Times, "CMV Is a Greater Threat to Infants Than Zika, but Far Less Often Discussed "(2016).

I want to let you know about my new book, "Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV: Protect Newborns from #1 Birth Defects Virus," which I wrote  to increase CMV awareness among those who are at increased risk. 

Also, singer/songwriter Debra Lynn Alt of North Branford wrote a song that conveys how a mother feels when she learns she could have reduced her chances of contracting CMV. In addition to penning songs for other causes and commissions, Debra was once the lead singer for the Rolling Stone Magazine house band.

We are having a book and song launch on May 9, 2018 (details in my press release below). 

If pregnant women were taught how to reduce to their chances of contracting CMV by carefully handling the bodily fluids of toddlers who are often excreting the virus, many newborns would be spared the life-long suffering my daughter Elizabeth endured.   

According to the March of Dimes, “As many as 7 in 10 children (70 percent) between 1 and 3 years of age who go to day care may have CMV. They can pass it on to their families, caretakers and other children.”  

CMV in childcare is a very "inconvenient truth" and I think many in the industry are afraid to alarm their workers. However, a few states such as Utah, and countries including Germany and Queensland, Australia, have worked out a protocol to protect their childcare workers. In the U.S., according to one study (Thackeray et al., 2016), many childcare providers use diaper wipes  to wipe up a toddler’s bodily fluids, but diaper wipes do not kill CMV.   

I'm a former licensed childcare provider who, like many in the U.S., never heard of my occupational risk for CMV, despite the fact it is a worker's right to know their occupational hazards according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  I believe it is every woman's right to know how to protect her unborn children from CMV.  

For those who don't have time to read  "Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV," the public can learn CMV prevention tips just by clicking on the "Look inside" feature located above the book's cover image om Amazon. By advancing to the Acknowledgements page, readers will learn:
  • Caregivers of young children are at increased risk for CMV, the leading birth defects virus that disables 4,000 babies each year in the U.S. (CDC).
  • 44 - 100% of two-year-olds in group daycare are excreting CMV (Pass et al., 1986).
  • 8 - 20% of childcare providers contract CMV infection every year (AAP et al., 2011) VERSUS 1-4% in general population (CDC).   
  • Only 18.5% of licensed “in-home” daycare providers surveyed have heard of CMV and “Providers do not know how to appropriately sanitize surfaces to reduce spread of disease.” Many use diaper wipes to clean surfaces, which do not sanitize (Thackeray et al., 2016).
  • “Women may be able to lessen their risk of getting CMV by reducing contact with saliva and urine from babies and young children. Some ways to do this are: kissing children on the cheek or head rather than the lips, and washing hands after changing diapers. These cannot eliminate your risk of getting CMV, but may lessen your chances of getting it” states the CDC. Download this flyer from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/cmv/downloads/pregnant-patients-cmv.pdf

You can download my free, 133-page manuscript for "Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV,by clicking hereIf you are with the media and would like to review the book, "Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV," I can send you a copy. 

Thank you for your time! 


Lisa Saunders
CMV Awareness Advocate, Parent Rep.,
PO Box 389, Mystic, CT 06355 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 


Protect Newborns from Congenital CMV, #1 Birth Defects Virus

New book by Lisa Saunders and song by Debra Lynn Alt launched on May 9th to help women fight CMV

Mystic, Conn.—Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the leading viral cause of birth defects, annually disabling 4,000 newborns each year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Because women who care for toddlers are at greatest risk, Lisa Saunders of Mystic, parent representative of the Congenital Cytomegalovirus Foundation, wrote the book, “Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV,” and Debra Lynn Alt of North Branford composed the song, "Had I Known (about CMV),” to help reduce the incidences of congenital CMV.

Although congenital CMV causes more disabilities than Zika and fetal alcohol syndrome, women are largely unaware how to prevent it. The March of Dimes states, “As many as 7 in 10 children (70 percent) between 1 and 3 years of age who go to day care may have CMV. They can pass it on to their families, caretakers and other children.”

Congenital (present at birth) CMV can cause premature birth, hearing and vision loss, small head size, lack of coordination, seizures and death, according to the CDC. The CDC states, "People who care for or work closely with young children may be at greater risk of CMV infection than other people because CMV infection is common among young children."

Author Lisa Saunders is a former licensed childcare provider, church nursery volunteer, and mother of a toddler who didn't learn about CMV until after her daughter Elizabeth was born with microcephaly (small, damaged brain) from congenital CMV. "Most pregnant women know to avoid dirty kitty litter and mosquito bites to protect their unborn babies from disabling viruses," says Saunders, “but most don’t know that kissing their toddler around the mouth or sharing a cup with them can cause birth defects in their newborns.”

To save time, many child care givers use diaper wipes to remove bodily fluids such as saliva and urine from hands and surfaces, but diaper wipes do not kill CMV. In a recent survey, only 18.5% of licensed “in-home” daycare providers have heard of CMV. “Providers do not know how to appropriately sanitize surfaces to reduce spread of disease.” (Thackeray et al., 2016).

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that caregivers/teachers be counseled about CMV by their healthcare providers and daycare center directors. However, most childcare providers have never heard of CMV.

After Elizabeth’s birth, Saunders was then given information about CMV.  "I was stunned," she says. "How could it be that I was unaware of this? Nowhere in my childcare licensing or church nursery training was CMV mentioned. CMV prevention was not discussed in my prenatal doctor visits."

Saunders dedicated her book, “Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV,” to mothers who find out about CMV too late to prevent hearing loss and/or mental and physical impairments in their newborns. The Dedication pages include the lyrics to new song, "Had I Known (about CMV)" © 2018 DebraSong Publishing. In her original song, Debra Lynn Alt conveys how a mother feels when she learns she could have reduced her chances of contracting CMV.  

Alt with launch her song, "Had I Known (about CMV)," and Saunders her book, Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV,” on Weds, May 9, 2018:

Wednesday, May 9
Something to Sing About: "Had I Known (about CMV)"
Mystic & Noank Library
40 Library Street, Mystic, CT 06355
Singer/songwriter Debra Lynn Alt reminds us, no matter what, there’s always something to sing about. Stories and songs of inspiration and humor range from a New Yorker’s perspective of moving to Connecticut, to her latest gift  “Had I Known (about CMV)”, for author Lisa Saunders. Saunders, the parent representative of the Congenital Cytomegalovirus Foundation, will be on hand to discuss how she helped Connecticut become the second state to pass a law aimed at battling CMV, and her new book, "Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV." In addition to penning songs for other causes and commissions, Debra was once the lead singer for the Rolling Stone Magazine house band. Light refreshments will be served.
More info about CMV: cdc.gov/cmv; Debra Lynn Alt: debrasong.com; or Lisa Saunders: authorlisasaunders.com.
Time: 3:30pm
Cost: Free

###

About Author Lisa Saunders: 
Lisa Saunders, a former licensed childcare provider and graduate of Cornell University, was instrumental in helping Connecticut pass a CMV testing law in 2015. She is the parent representative of the Congenital Cytomegalovirus Foundation, an award-winning writer, and SEC-TV talk show host living in Mystic, Connecticut, with her husband, Jim. She is the content coordinator for the magazine, Groton-Mystic Neighbors, author of 10 books, and a part-time history interpreter at Mystic Seaport.  Lisa writes extensively about congenital CMV in her books and through articles such as "The Danger of Spreading CMV: How We Can Protect Our Children" (ChildCare Aware of America, 2017) and “Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV” (National CMV Foundation, 2018) Lisa's CMV-related books include:

 
About Singer/Songwriter Debra Lynn Alt:
Debra Lynn Alt, a former lead singer for the Rolling Stone Magazine House Band, lives in North Branford, Connecticut. Through her music, Debra reminds us that no matter what happens in life, there’s always something to sing about. Her stories and songs of inspiration and humor range from a New Yorker's perspective of moving to Connecticut "Where New England Begins," to her newest gift of music to author Lisa Saunders, “Had I Known (about CMV)”. Debra has also contributed songs for Habitat for Humanity, cancer survivors, autism, child abuse, M.A.D.D., adoption, and hope after 9/11. Debra is the author of a gift book that includes her latest CD of original songs, the title of which is the song inspired by her friend, photographer Monica Schwartz Baer, and other cancer survivors, "Each Moment We’re Alive." To hear Debra's music or read her work, visit debrasong.com or email her at: debrasong@gmail.com
  
About the book: Help Childcare Providers Fight CMV: Protect Newborns from #1 Birth Defects Virus 
Authored by Lisa Saunders, Illustrated by Marianne Greiner 
Product details
·        Retails: $6.99
·        Paperback: 134 pages
·        Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 13, 2018)
·        Language: English
·        ISBN-10: 1984328697
·        ISBN-13: 978-1984328694
·        Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches

MEDIA COVERAGE OF LISA’S CONNECTICUT CMV WORK


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

8- 20% of female child care providers contract CMV infection every year


Want a healthy baby? Want your friends to have one? Then know the numbers associated with congenital (present at birth) Cytomegalovirus (CMV), #1 viral cause of birth defects, so you can reduce your chances of contracting it. Birth defects from congenital CMV include microcephaly, hearing loss, mental impairment, blindness, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy.

According to the New York TimesCMV is a Greater Threat to Infants Than Zika, but Far Less Often Discussed.

Child care workers and mothers of toddlers in daycare are at increased risk for contracting CMV.

Congenital CMV by the Numbers:
ASK YOUR LOCAL DAYCARE FACILITY AND CHURCH NURSERY IF THEY FOLLOW THESE RECOMMENDATIONS:
The  American Academy of Pediatrics, co-authored Standard 7.7.1.1Staff Education and Policies on Cytomegalovirus (CMV)which states childcare workers of childbearing age should be informed about their increased probability of exposure to CMV and:
· Hygiene measures (especially handwashing and avoiding contact with urine, saliva, and nasal secretions) aimed at reducing acquisition of CMV;
· The availability of counseling and testing for serum antibody to CMV to determine the caregiver/teacher’s immune status... 

Additional numbers:
Above image from Surviving Loss: The Woodcutter's Tale--inspired by a girl with congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV).

SOURCES

Congenital CMV Disease Research, Clinic & Registry 

National CMV Foundation 

American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. (n.d.). Standard 7.7.1.1: Staff Education and Policies on Cytomegalovirus (CMV). Retrieved from National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs: Caring for Our Children: http://cfoc.nrckids.org/StandardView/7.7.1.1

American Academy of Pediatrics . (2012, 2015). Children in Out-of-Home Care. In B. C. Pickering LK, Red Book: Infectious Diseases American Academy of Pediatrics (pp. 145 (2012); Elk Grove Village, IL. Retrieved December 30, 2016, from https://redbook.solutions.aap.org/DocumentLibrary/RB12_interior.pdf
Carlson, A. M., Norwitz, E. R., & Stiller, R. J. (Fall 2010). Cytomegalovirus Infection in Pregnancy: Should All Women Be Screened? Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3046747/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved from Congenital CMV Infection Trends and Statistics: http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/trends-stats.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (n.d.). Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Congenital CMV Infection. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/index.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (n.d.). Infant Health. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infant-health.htm
Doutre, S. M. Barrett, T. S. Greenlee, J. & White, K. R. . (2016). Losing Ground: Awareness of Congenital Cytomegalovirus in the United States. Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention, 1(2), 9-48. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1035&context=jehdi
Joseph, MSc, Serene A, et al. (2006, Sept). Cytomegalovirus as an occupational risk in daycare educators. Retrieved from PMC: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2528629/
Harrison, Gail Demmler MD. (2016, December 2). Cytomegalovirus: The Virus All Pregnant Women Should Know About Now. Retrieved from Medscape.com: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/872452
Lanzieri,Tatiana M., Chung, Winnie, Flores,Marily, Blum, Peggy, Caviness, A. Chantal, Bialek, Stephanie R., Grosse,Scott D., Miller, Jerry A., Demmler-Harrison, Gail. (2017, February ). Congenital Cytomegalovirus Longitudinal Study Group. Pediatrics. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/02/14/peds.2016-2610
Pass, Robert F. M.D.; Hutto, Cecelia M.D.; Ricks, Rebecca M.S.N., R.N.; and Cloud, Gretchen A. M.S. (1986, May 29). Increased Rate of Cytomegalovirus Infection among Parents of Children Attending Day-Care Centers. New England Journal of Medicine. Retrieved 2017, from New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM198605293142204
Saunders, L. (2013). Surviving Loss: The Woodcutter's Tale. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Loss-Woodcutters-Lisa-Saunders/dp/1482315505/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8