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Cytomegalovirus

What is Cytomegalovirus?

Cytomegalovirus, also called CMV is a common virus that infects most people but rarely causes obvious illness. Cytomegalovirus is also the virus most frequently transmitted to a developing child before birth. A person can carry CMV in their body for a lifetime. It can be dormant in the body and then reactivate at a later time.

Cytomegalovirus is a member of the herpes virus family. Some other viruses in the herpes family cause: chickenpox, infectious mononucleosis, fever blisters (herpes I) and genital herpes (herpes II). For the vast majority of people, CMV infection is not a serious problem.

Cytomegalovirus infects between 50% and 85% of adults in the United States by 40 years of age.

Symptoms of Cytomegalovirus?

Most people never develop symptoms after exposure. The incubation period appears to be between three and 12 weeks. When symptoms appear, the most common symptoms are: prolonged fever, swollen glands, tiredness, and a mild hepatitis.

How is Cytomegalovirus transmitted?

Cytomegalovirus is transmitted from one person to another. It can be spread through urine, saliva, blood, tears, semen, and breast milk. It can also be transmitted though transplanted organs.

Complications of Cytomegalovirus?

Cytomegalovirus can cause serious infections in people who have received organ transplants, and in persons whose immune systems are weakened. The virus is especially harmful in people with HIV or AIDS. In people with AIDS, cytomegalovirus may infect the retina of the eye and causes blindness.

CMV and Pregnancy?

Cytomegalovirus is the highest cause of congenital viral infection in the United States. It is transmitted to the infant during the time of delivery or by drinking its mother's breast milk. If an infant is infected with cytomegalovirus, they may have an enlarged liver, jaundice, enlarged spleen, loss of hearing, vision impairment, and some degree of mental retardation.

Treatment Options for Cytomegalovirus?

In most cases, there is no treatment. Researchers are still working on a vaccine.

How is Cytomegalovirus diagnosed?

Your doctor will perform test on samples taken from urine, throat swabs and other tissues to determine if you have Cytomegalovirus.

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