Cytomegalovirus (CMV) (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection facts
- What is cytomegalovirus (CMV)?
- What causes cytomegalovirus infection?
- What are the risk factors for cytomegalovirus infection?
- How is cytomegalovirus transmitted?
- What are cytomegalovirus symptoms and signs?
- How do physicians diagnose cytomegalovirus infection?
- What is the treatment for cytomegalovirus infection?
- What is the prognosis of cytomegalovirus infection?
- What are complications of cytomegalovirus infection?
- Is it possible to prevent cytomegalovirus infection? Is there a CMV vaccine?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What is cytomegalovirus (CMV)?
CMV, or cytomegalovirus (pronounced si-to-MEG-a-lo-vi-rus), is a virus that belongs to the herpesvirus family. Other members of the family include herpes simplex viruses (cause cold sores and genital herpes), varicella-zoster virus (causes chickenpox and shingles), and Epstein-Barr virus (causes infectious mononucleosis, also known as mono). This group of viruses remain dormant (not causing symptoms) in the body for life. Infection with CMV is very common and can cause fever, tiredness, and other symptoms. CMV infection occurs in people of all ages worldwide. Experts estimate that more than half of the adult population in the United States has been infected with CMV, and 80% of adults have had the infection by the time they are 40 years old. About one in 150 children is born with CMV infection.
What causes cytomegalovirus infection?
Direct contact with body fluids from an infected person exposes an individual to CMV. Most healthy children and adults do not experience any symptoms after infection with CMV. However, in people with a weakened immune system (such as those with HIV or AIDS), CMV may cause serious disease. CMV can cause retinitis (blurred vision and blindness), painful swallowing (dysphagia), diarrhea, and weakness or numbness in the legs.
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