November 28, 2023
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. It is a ubiquitous virus that infects people of all ages. CMV is spread through body fluids such as blood, saliva, urine, and breast milk.
Most healthy individuals who become infected with CMV have no symptoms and the virus remains dormant in their body. However, for people with weakened immune systems, such as newborns, the elderly, and people with HIV/AIDS, CMV infection can cause severe symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and swollen glands.
In healthy people, CMV usually causes no symptoms as the immune system keeps the virus under control (this is described as dormant). However, in people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS, transplant recipients, and those undergoing chemotherapy, CMV infection can cause severe complications such as pneumonia, retinitis, encephalitis, hepatitis, and gastrointestinal problems.
CMV infection during pregnancy can also cause congenital CMV, which is when the virus is passed from the mother to the developing fetus. Congenital CMV can cause a range of developmental problems such as hearing loss, vision problems, and developmental delays.