New law aims to raise awareness for CMV in kids

Gov. Beshear signed Senate Bill 105 into law Thursday

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Governor Andy Beshear signed several bills into law Thursday, including Senate Bill 105, also known as the Bella Dawn Streeval Law, which is designed to increase awareness and screenings for cytomegalovirus (CMV).

Sarah Streeval shared the heart-wrenching story of the death of her daughter, Bella Dawn, from CMV.

“My world ended two years ago today,” says Streeval. “Two years ago today, I held my breath waiting to see if there would be another. Two years ago today, I had to hand my baby over to a coroner.”

It was a bittersweet day for the Streeval family, still grieving the loss of their daughter on the anniversary of her death but celebrating the day the bill named in her honor was signed into law, increasing the screenings in newborns for the virus that took her life.

“This is a virus that can cause childhood deafness and other health challenges,” says Beshear. “But, unfortunately, most CMV infections are not diagnosed without newborn screening, resulting in missed opportunity for needed care.”

Bella Dawn’s Law will ensure that every infant who’s failed the first two auditory screenings will be tested for CMV within 21 days of their birth.

“Bella’s Law unfortunately doesn’t change anything for our sweet Bella, or any of the other CMV families. But it just may be that her spirit will be living on inside of other little ones who are affected by this law,” says Streeval.

“CMV is something we need to educate all doctors about, and I think with this bill we can do that. Hearing loss is a huge issue for so many families and so many people today,” says Virginia Moore, Team Kentucky sign language interpreter. “We just need to keep moving forward to educate everybody on what it is.”

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