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What Is Cytomegalovirus?

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus among all ages.  According to the CDC, nearly one in 3 children have had CMV by the age of 5.  For people with healthy immune systems, CMV rarely causes health problems and most people show no symptoms.  However in rare cases, it can cause mononucleosis or hepatitis.  

What Are The Symptoms of Cytomegalovirus?

The symptoms of CMV include fever, sore throat, fatigue, and swollen glands.  Those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of showing symptoms of CMV, especially more severe reactions affecting the liver, stomach, intestines, lungs, and eyes.  Baby’s born with CMV are at increased risk of hearing loss, which is why it’s important that pregnant women prevent CMV infection

How Do You Get Cytomegalovirus?

Cytomegalovirus is transmitted mostly through body fluids from person to person.  These body fluids include saliva, blood, semen, urine, and breast milk.  It is often transmitted throug sexual contact or direct contact with saliva.  Cytomegalovirus is a virus so it stays with you for life, but occasionally reinfection can occur according to CDC.  

How Long Does CMV Infection Last

If someone is experiencing symptoms due to CMV infection, they usually recover in 4-6 weeks. Rest may be needed to get back to normal activity levels.  According to Mount Sinai, painkillers and warm salt-water gargles can help alleviate symptoms related to CMV.

Conclusion

Cytomegalovirus is not a critical health concern for most people.  Most healthy adults won’t show any signs or symptoms of CMV.  However some are at risk, including those with weak immune systems.  Pregnant women are especially at risk for CMV, so they should be on the lookout for any symptoms they experience while pregnant or any symptoms their baby might experience postpartum.  

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