HUMAN CYTOMEGALOVIRUS INFECTION

Human cytomegalovirus infection is a kind of herpes virus. Many individuals are unaware that they have it since this condition shows no symptoms.

However, since the virus stays latent in the body, it may create issues during pregnancy and in those with compromised immune systems. Moreover, the virus spreads via bodily fluids and a pregnant woman may pass it on to her unborn child. It is also the most common virus given to a developing newborn.

TYPES

Human cytomegalovirus infections are classified into three types: acquired, recurrent, and congenital.

  • Acquired CMV. This occurs when someone develops CMV for the first time.
  • CMV recurrence. This occurs when a person already has the infection. The virus lies latent until a weakened immune system activates it.
  • Congenital CMV. This arises when a pregnant woman acquires the virus and transfers it on to her baby.

SYMPTOMS

The symptoms will vary according to the kind of CMV.

Acquired CMV

Most persons with human cytomegalovirus infection have no apparent symptoms; however, if they do, they may include:

  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue and unease
  • Swollen glands, sore throat
  • Decrease in appetite and weight

CMV Recurrence

The indications of recurrent CMV vary based on which organs have just been infected. Symptoms could include:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea 
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Hypoxemia
  • Oral ulcers

Congenital CMV

The infection will affect just one ear in half of these youngsters, while the other half will have hearing loss. If congenital human cytomegalovirus infection symptoms exist at birth, they may include:

  • Jaundice
  • Pneumonia
  • Blemishes on the skin
  • Splotches of purple skin

DIAGNOSIS

You may find CMV-related antibodies in your blood. If CMV reactivates, the baby’s risk is modest. Amniocentesis may be required in CMV-positive pregnant mothers.

The doctor will test the infant within three weeks if they suspect congenital CMV. CMV testing beyond three weeks is inconclusive since the baby may have received the infection after birth.

CMV testing includes vision and hearing. Those with a weak immune system should be checked even if the virus isn’t active. 

TREATMENT

There is no CMV vaccine currently. First-time CMV patients may take OTC pain relievers, such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, or aspirin to ease symptoms and should drink lots of water. Moreover, congenital or recurrent CMV may be treated with antivirals like ganciclovir.

These drugs have side effects. However, organ damage may need hospitalization. Newborns may also require hospitalization until organ functions normalize.

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