AB-1801: Newborns: cytomegalovirus public education and testing

Session: 2017-2018
Author: Nazarian
Status: Vetoed
AAP-CA Position: Support
To view the status of this bill on the State Website, click here.

Would require the State Department of Health Care Services, in consultation with the State Department of Public Health, to establish and conduct a public education program to inform pregnant women and women who may become pregnant about cytomegalovirus (CMV) using information about specified items, including birth defects caused by congenital CMV and available preventive measures to avoid CMV infection of those women. The bill would require the State Department of Health Care Services to make that information available on its Internet Web site and to provide the information to specified entities and individuals.

Veto Message:

To the Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 1801 without my signature.

This bill would require the Department of Health Care Services to establish a 13-member Commission to identify public educational resources for, and examine research and data relating to, Cytomegalovirus, a non-genetic virus which causes birth defects.

Researching, educating and testing for diseases in newborns is the function of the Department of Public Health’s Newborn Screening program. I encourage the author to work with this department to review and assess this disease rather than create a new governmental body in a different department.

Sincerely,

Edmund G. Brown Jr.

AAP Positional Letter



August 29, 2018

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
California State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB 1801 (Nazarian) –Newborns: cytomegalovirus public education and testing
AAP-CA Position: Support

Dear Governor Brown,

The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians statewide, supports proposed legislation AB 1801 (Nazarian), which would require the State Department of Health Care Services to establish a commission on Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Public Education and Testing, appointing members to the commission including a general pediatrician who practices primary care, that examine research and data relating to congenital CMV.

In the US, nearly 1 in 3 children are already infected with CMV by age 5 years. It is spread through exposure to body fluids and can cause serious health problems for infants who acquire the infection during pregnancy congenitally from their mothers. 13,500 to 31,500 infants are born each year in this country with congenital CMV infection and both symptomatic and asymptomatic infants may develop health problems later on in life, the most common of which is hearing loss – approximately 20% of all hearing loss at birth and 25% of hearing loss at 4 years of age is attributable to congenital CMV infection.

California pediatricians agree that more needs to be done to identify and monitor infants infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV) who have acquired the infection during pregnancy congenitally from their mothers. AB 1801 (Nazarian) establishes a commission to approach the need to strengthen CMV identification, monitoring and care, while adhering to evidence-based practices.

Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 across the state respectfully request you to sign AB 1801 (Nazarian) into law. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.

Sincerely,

Mona Patel, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Co-chair of State Government Affairs, American Academy of Pediatrics, California

cc: Kris Calvin, AAPCA CEO; AAPCA Leadership; Lydia Bourne, AAPCA Lobbyist