Idaho family hoping to raise awareness of 'silent virus' in pare - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho family hoping to raise awareness of 'silent virus' in parents and children

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SANDPOINT, Idaho -

One family who has been personally affected by the cytomegalovirus (or CMV) virus is going the distance to raise awareness.

Cytomegalovirus is a common herpes virus that many people do not know they have. Sometimes a person may not experience any symptoms and it can lay dormant in the body. It can be spread from person to person through bodily fluids such as blood or saliva. This can be especially dangerous for expecting mothers since it can affect babies in the womb.

Jessica Rachels is a member of The Idaho CMV Advocacy Project, a group dedicated to educating women and families about how to prevent CMV during pregnancy. Rachels says she was never informed about CMV during her prenatal visits or that working in child care at the time put her at a higher risk to infection.

"I did not learn any of these things until after the birth of my daughter Natalie, when I also learned I carried the CMV virus," said Rachels.

On Sunday Jessica and her husband Patrick made the long drive from Sandpoint to Boise. They are advocating for a bill that will make information about CMV available to the public.

Currently, Idaho is one of four states moving forward with legislation. There are only  six other states who have passed legislation.

Rachels told KHQ she wished she would have known how to take precautions when she was pregnant with her daughter because the outcome may have been different. Rachels says it's a silent virus that falls between the cracks but they are hoping to change that.

The family is scheduled to appear Monday in front of the Idaho House of Representatives.

For more information about CMV and The Idaho Advocacy Project visit https://idahocmv.com/

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