OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5147 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING NEWBORN SCREENING FOR CYTOMEGALOVIRUS AND ESTABLISHING A PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR CYTOMEGALOVIRUS.

SUMMARY:

Beginning January 1, 2015, this bill requires all healthcare institutions caring for newborn infants to (1) within available appropriations, test infants who fail a newborn hearing screening for cytomegalovirus (CMV) and (2) provide parents of such newborns with information from the public health commissioner regarding available treatment methods for, and birth defects associated with, congenital CMV. The bill also requires healthcare institutions caring for newborns to test infants for globoid cell leukodystrophy once the United States Department of Health and Human Services' Discretionary Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children includes globoid cell leukodystrophy in its uniform screening panel.

As with other newborn screenings required by law, the CMV screening must be done as soon after birth as medically appropriate and parents may object to either the CMV or globoid cell leukodystrophy test on religious grounds.

The bill also requires the public health commissioner to create a public education program to inform pregnant women, and women who may become pregnant, about CMV. Specifically, the program must include information on the (1) incidence of CMV; (2) transmission of CMV to pregnant women and women who may become pregnant; (3) birth defects caused by congenital CMV; and (4) methods of diagnosing, preventing, and treating congenital CMV.

The commissioner must make the information available to licensed day care centers and group day care homes, licensed health care providers who serve pregnant women and infants, school nurses and others providing health education in schools, and other organizations providing services to children in a group setting.

*House Amendment “A” requires healthcare institutions to perform the newborn CMV test within available appropriations and adds the globoid cell leukodystrophy provision.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2014

BACKGROUND

CMV and Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy

CMV is a type of herpesvirus, which places it in a group with chickenpox, shingles, and mononucleosis. Although usually harmless in healthy adults and children, CMV in newborns can lead to hearing loss or developmental disabilities. Transmission from mother to fetus occurs during pregnancy. Globoid cell leukodystrophy, also known as Krabbe disease, is an inherited degenerative nervous system disorder. It is usually fatal prior to age two.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

25

Nay

0

(03/25/2014)