Cytomegalovirus: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

CMV symptoms, causes, and treatments

Even though the cytomegalovirus is common, you may not have previously heard about it. This is because to most people, this virus doesn’t pose any threats. However, pregnant women, newborns, and immunocompromised people may develop cytomegalovirus infection (CMV). In this article, we examine CMV symptoms, causes, and treatments.

What Is the Cytomegalovirus?

This is an infection that usually doesn’t produce any symptoms. Like the herpes virus, the cytomegalovirus can lay dormant in the body for many years before reactivating at some point. Experts estimate that by the age of 30, half of all US citizens have contracted this virus.

Who Is at Risk of Developing CMV?

While most people who have the cytomegalovirus never develop any symptoms, the following groups are more susceptible to developing CMV:

  • Newborns who’ve contracted the virus through the umbilical cord
  • Infants who contract the virus shortly after birth, perhaps through breastmilk
  • Immunocompromised people whose immune system cannot prevent the infection from developing

What Are the Causes of CMV?

When looking at CMV symptoms, causes, and treatments, looking at why and how someone contracts the virus and develops the infection is essential.

The risk groups suggest that anyone with immune system deficiencies including newborns who haven’t had time to develop a strong immune system yet are more likely to develop CMV.

What Are the Symptoms of CMV?

Otherwise healthy people may show fatigue, fever or suffer from aches and pains. In contrast, immunocompromised patients may suffer symptoms affecting the brain, liver, esophagus, lungs, intestines, and stomach. Newborns have more severe symptoms including low birth weight, jaundice, liver malfunction, pneumonia, seizures, small head, and skin rashes.

CMV Treatments

In general, healthy people don’t need any treatment. Newborns, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system do need treatment though. The choice thereof depends on the severity of the infection. Antiviral treatments are the most common.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the basics of CMV symptoms, causes, and treatments. Speak to your doctor if you’re concerned you may be suffering from it.