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WATCH: Mum warns about pregnancy virus

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7:32am 24th June 2017
(Updated 7:32am 24th June 2017)

A Cornwall mum is urging pregnant women to check out the risks of a common virus which affects unborn babies.

CMV - cytomegalovirus - is passed through bodily fluids and can stop the brain developing properly if women catch it for the first time when pregnant.

Joanne Van Rooyen from Mitchell tells Pirate FM it has left daughter Sevva with cerebral palsy, as well as seizures and other problems.

She says the three-year-old has up to 60 seizures a day and now wants other mothers-to-be to know about it.

sevva

Joanne said: "Each day is a blessing. Each day she is awake with us, we just take it as it comes and we hope that she will carry on and that she will live on, really.

"It's quite hard, especially when you fall pregnant for the first time and you're going to be a parent - you don't think anything will go wrong or that it will happen to you.

"When you're then thrown in the deep end, you think 'wow, where am I going to start?' - but you just get on with it".

It was not until after Sevva was born that her parents realised she was not completely healthy.

Doctors told them a lot of damage had been done in the early stages of pregnancy and they were warned she could have many developmental disabilities, including losing her sight and hearing.

So far she has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, swallowing disorder and is developmentally delayed.

 

Joanne said: "Sevva is now three years old with many challenges, though none of these hold her back as she is a very determined and happy little girl, who has so much love to give and fights a good fight with everything that is thrown at her.

"She loves people and knows how to win them over. She is very affectionate and has plenty of kisses to hand out freely.

"The question I am myself and other health professionals are: Why is CMV not mentioned by health professionals to nursery schools, pregnant mothers, etc? Why is it kept quiet?

"Is much being done to find a prevention? And why is there no screening for CMV in pregnancy?"

Joanne is now pleaing with other mothers and those who want to have a family to be careful and learn about the virus.

She said: "I don't want to scare anyone but just want to make them aware of the dangers out there, because I never thought this would happen to us."

CMV is a common virus that is harmless to most people but can be dangerous to unborn babies.

It is related to the herpes family and signs include flu-like symptoms, lack of energy or fever.

Ways to reduce risks include extra hygeine practises, such as washing hands after wiping noses and changing nappies.

For more information, click here.

7:32am 24th June 2017

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