Cytomegalovirus (CMV) – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus. It is found in all over the world. It mostly infects between 50 to 80 percent of all adults in the United States. This illness affect mostly at the age of 40. Children typically become more infected with the virus in early childhood, especially those in child-care and preschool settings. Once a person becomes infected by this virus, it remains alive, but usually dormant within that person’s body for life. When a pregnant lady becomes infected, she can pass the virus on to her fetus. Due to this transfer of virus by the mother to her fetus, it leads to serious illness in the newborn, lasting disabilities and even death. Like other herpes viruses, CMV infection can become dormant for a while and may reactivate at a later time. The virus is carried by people and is not associated with food, water or animals.

Causes

Acute CMV infection is caused by cytomegalovirus (CMV). People who have received an organ transplant are particularly susceptible to CMV infection because of the immunosuppressant drugs they receive as part of the transplantation process.

Because of it is often found in semen as well as in cervical secretions, the virus can be spread by sexual contact. It also found that it can be easily spread by other forms of physical contact such as kissing. It is most often transmitted through infected bodily fluids that come in contact with hands and then are absorbed through the nose or mouth of a susceptible person.

Symptoms

Most of the healthy children and adults infected with CMV have no symptoms and may not even know that they have been infected. Others may develop a mild illness. Infants who are infected before birth usually show no symptoms of a CMV infection after they are born, although some of these infants can develop hearing, vision, neurologic, and developmental problems over time.

Common symptoms of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection are-

* Fever
* Sore throat
* Enlarged lymph nodes, especially in the neck
* Malaise
* Frequent tiredness or fatigue
* Loss of appetite
* Muscular aches or stiffness
* Jaundice
* Headache
* Neck stiffness
* Sensitivity to light
* Cough
* Shortness of breath
* Chest pain
* Rapid heart rate
* Irregular heart rate
* Hives

Treatment

There are no treatmens for prenatal or postnatal therapy of the infection. Vaccines for treatment are still in the research and developmental stages.

Cytomegalovirus is treated with antiviral medications. But these drugs aren’t proved to be safe in pregnancy. Also, there is no evidence that they protect the fetus. If you have cytomegalovirus, your doctor will want to closely monitor your pregnancy. In bone-marrow transplant patients, CMV-immune globulin (CMV-IVIG) and the anti-viral drug ganciclovir given intravenously can be used to fight CMV infections.