Cytomegalovirus

Friday, July 30, 2010

Infection with cytomegalovirus is very common. Between 50 and 85 percent of people in the United States have had a CMV infection by the time they are 40 years old. In most cases, infections are rarely serious but CMV can develop serious health problems. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about CMV in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Cytomegalovirus, a virus from the herpes and chickenpox virus family, is a common cause of infection and illness worldwide.

CMV infection can be congenital or passed from an infected pregnant woman to her baby. Congenital CMV infection is a leading nongenetic cause of deafness in children.

About 90 percent of babies with CMV infection will not show any signs of the infection. However, 10 percent develop hearing loss in early childhood. Newborns with symptoms are much more likely to develop long-lasting problems.

In adults and older children, CMV infection may be present without symptoms. However, individuals who have a weakened immune system or patients who have had an organ transplant, a bone marrow transplant or certain types of cancers, may become seriously ill if they are exposed to CMV.

CMV can be passed through blood, saliva, mucus and urine. It can also be spread through sexual contact. Good hygiene is the most important way to stop spread of CMV, just like with all viral illnesses.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.