Congenital Cytomegalovirus – CMV
June 06 2018
What you need to know about Congenital Cytomegalovirus
What is Congenital Cytomegalovirus?
Medical News Today states, Cytomegalovirus is a common herpes virus. Many people do not know they have it, because they may have no symptoms of herpes.
But the virus, which remains dormant in the body, can cause complications during pregnancy and for people with a weakened immune system.
The virus spreads through bodily fluids, and it can be passed on from a pregnant mother to her unborn baby.
Also known as HCMV, CMV, or Human Herpes virus 5 (HHV-5), cytomegalovirus is the virus most commonly transmitted to a developing fetus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over 50 percent of adults in the United States are infected by the age of 40 years. It affects males and females equally, at any age, and regardless of ethnicity.
Signs & Symptoms
Most people with CMV infection have no symptoms and aren’t aware that they have been infected. In some cases, infection in healthy people can cause mild illness that may include
- Sore throat,
- Fatigue, and
- Swollen glands.
People with weakened immune systems who get CMV can have more serious symptoms affecting the eyes, lungs, liver, esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Babies born with CMV can have brain, liver, spleen, lung, and growth problems. Hearing loss is the most common health problem in babies born with congenital CMV infection, which may be detected soon after birth or may develop later in childhood.
Transmission and Prevention
People with CMV may shed (pass) the virus in body fluids, such as urine, saliva, blood, tears, semen, and breast milk. CMV is spread from an infected person in the following ways:
- From direct contact with urine or saliva, especially from babies and young children
- Through sexual contact
- From breast milk
- Through transplanted organs and blood transfusions
A woman who is infected with CMV can pass the virus to her developing baby during pregnancy. Women may be able to lessen their risk of getting CMV by reducing contact with saliva and urine from babies and young children. Some ways do this are: kissing children on the cheek or head rather than the lips, and washing hands after changing diapers. These cannot eliminate your risk of getting CMV, but may lessen your chances of getting it.
Healthcare providers should follow standard precautions. For more recommendations in healthcare settings, see the Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings.
The information contained in this Avenue 360 Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and Avenue 360 recommends consultation with your Avenue 360 doctor or health care professional.