Lisa Saunders, of the Congenital CMV Foundation, and Dr. Brenda Balch, M.D., a New London, CT-based pediatrician who serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Early Hearing Detection & Intervention Chapter, sat down with ABC Affiliate WTNH last month to discuss congenital cytomegalovirus.

In the interview, Dr. Balch noted that, despite the severity of congenital CMV infection, less than 20% of U.S. men and women are aware of the condition. Her goal is to educate people about the risks of CMV and also to encourage prevention strategies, particularly among pregnant women and women considering pregnancy. Dr. Balch suggests that good hygiene and regular hand washing, especially around toddlers, is one way to lower transmission risks.

Lisa Saunders was running a daycare from her home in Maryland when she contracted CMV during her pregnancy. Her daughter was born severely disabled. Toddlers, even those that appear otherwise healthy, are known to have high CMV viral loads in their saliva and urine.

Watch the video on WTNH: