Cytomegalovirus

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that most people don’t realize they have. It can infect almost anyone, however it rarely causes any symptoms. If you are infected with CMV, your body will harbor the virus for life, however if you are healthy it will remain dormant. If you have a weakened immune system or become pregnant, there may be cause of concern. Cytomegalovirus is contracted through body fluids. It is transferred through saliva, urine, semen, breast milk and blood.

If you are pregnant with CMV, there is a low risk of passing the virus to the baby through congenital CMV. If the baby does contract CMV and they appear healthy at birth, they may develop symptoms over time. The most common of these late occurring symptoms is hearing loss or a small number report vision impairment. If the baby is born sick with congenital CMV at birth they will have many noticeable symptoms. Symptoms include yellow skin and eyes, purple skin splotched or each, low birth weight, seizures, pneumonia, enlarged spleen or enlarged and poor functioning liver.

Symptoms in people with compromised immune systems

  • Fever
  • Pneumonia
  • Diarrhea
  • Ulcers in the digestive track
  • Visual impairment
  • Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
  • Hepatitis
  • Behavioral changes
  • Coma

In most cases, when first infected, some patients have symptoms mistaken for mononucleosis including fatigue, fever and muscle aches. However, mononucleosis comes from the Epstein Barr Virus while CMV is related to the herpes virus family.

For answers to your questions or to make an appointment, call us toll-free at (800) 923-7878 to speak with a Patient Care Representative.

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