November 30, 2015
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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection

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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection facts

  • CMV is a common virus (herpes virus family) and can infect anyone.
  • CMV is spread by direct contact of body fluids such as saliva, blood, urine, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.
  • Most healthy people do not experience any symptoms when infected with CMV. However, in those with a weakened immune system, CMV can cause serious disease (blindness, hepatitis, pneumonia, or encephalitis, for example).
  • As CMV spreads easily via any body fluid, breastfeeding, blood transfusions, organ transplants, and sexual contact are possible modes of transmission.
  • Infants born to mothers infected with CMV during pregnancy may develop congenital CMV infection.
  • Most healthy children and adults will recover from CMV infection without complications and do not require antiviral treatment.
  • Health-care professionals diagnose CMV infections by culturing the virus or detecting CMV DNA from the infected individual or detecting CMV antibodies.
  • Antiviral treatments may improve the prognosis in some patients.
  • There is no commercially available CMV vaccine; experimental vaccines are being studied.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/7/2015


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