AUGUSTA — Maine is close to requiring screening for a potentially debilitating virus in some newborns in the state.

The Maine Senate on Monday unanimously voted to enact a bill to require screening for cytomegalovirus for some babies, sending the bill to the governor.

The proposal from Democratic Sen. Cathy Breen of Falmouth 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 U.S. that causes no signs or symptoms in most people. One out of every 200 babies is born with the virus, and about one in five of those 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 the virus, which is also called CMV.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.