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Freezing Breast Milk Won't Stop Spread of Cytomegalovirus

Premature infant was infected anyway

FRIDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Storing breast milk at -4 degrees Fahrenheit fails to prevent the transmission of a cytomegalovirus to a newborn, according to a case report in the July issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition.

J. Maschmann, M.D., of the University of Wurzburg in Germany, and colleagues analyzed frozen breast milk samples from a woman who gave birth at 28 weeks of gestation. They also analyzed the infant's blood, urine and bronchial fluid to assess viral load.

The researchers found that the same viral strains were in the breast milk and the urine of the infant, and they determined that breast-feeding was the only source of cytomegalovirus transmission.

"When aiming to protect a population at risk from the hazards of postnatal cytomegalovirus transmission through breast milk, freezing cannot be recommended," the authors conclude.

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