Don't End Up Like Me... I Have CMV
What Is CMV
Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is a very common viral illness in young children. For most healthy people, CMV infection is not a serious problem. Most people have been infected by the time they are 40 years old.
Symptoms of CMV In People With Weakened Immune Systems
- Visual impairment and blindness
- Ulcers in the digestive tract, possibly causing bleeding
- Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
- Behavioral changes
Cures And Treatments
CMV is treated using powerful antiviral drugs. Like many viruses, CMV cannot be cured, it can only be treated to stop it from causing disease. At the same time, treating some forms of CMV, such as CMV retinitis, does not usually reverse damage that has already occurred. It only prevents the disease from worsening.
Interesting Info And Statistics
- CMV is spread from person to person by direct contact with body fluids of an infected person. Up to 70% of normal children aged 1 to 3 years in group care settings excrete CMV virus. Although it is not very contagious, it has been known to spread to household members and among children in child care where activities such as diaper changing, and sharing of mouthed toys and eating utensils may occur.
- Most infections are not diagnosed because the virus produces few, if any, symptoms. However, a blood test can determine whether a person has been infected with CMV. The virus can be cultured from samples of urine, throat swabs, and tissue samples to detect active infection.
For women of child bearing age who previously have not had CMV, there is a potential risk that the unborn child may get infected. This can lead to problems such as hearing loss, vision impairment and varying degrees of mental retardation. Pregnant women working with infants and young children should be informed of the risk of acquiring CMV infection, the possible effects on the unborn child, and the precautions they can take. They do not need to be transferred to other work situations.
Statistics Of Infected People In The US
- CMV is a common virus that infects 50 to 80 percent of people at some time during their lives but rarely causes obvious illness