Bradford star Kimberley Walsh has become the patron of a charity dedicated to raising awareness of a virus that can affect babies.

Cytomegalo virus (CMV) is common and can infect people of all ages but is a major cause of birth defects for babies and it is thought about one in 1,000 born in the UK will be affected.

The Girls Aloud singer said the cause was close to her heart, as the virus has left a friend’s son profoundly deaf and autistic.

Kimberley has backed CMV Action’s Wash Away CMV campaign which advises pregnant women to wash their hands frequently to reduce their risk of infection.