More than half of adults are infected by cytomegalovirus (CMV) by age 40, in accordance with the Facilities For Illness Management and Prevention. But it’s totally possible that you have by no means heard of this virus that is current in such a big portion of the inhabitants. Whereas it not often causes issues in in any other case wholesome individuals, CMV can pose a danger to those that are immunocompromised, in addition to people who find themselves pregnant or try to grow to be pregnant. Forward, medical doctors clarify what it is advisable to know.
What Is Cytomegalovirus (CMV)?
CMV is a quite common virus that, as soon as transmitted, will stay within the contaminated particular person for all times — normally in a dormant state, Kiarra King, MD, FACOG, a board-certified ob-gyn in Illinois, instructed CelebrityPie. Wholesome individuals with CMV could by no means expertise signs or flare-ups of the virus, and are usually thought-about low-risk for problems.
Due to this, many individuals are unaware that they’ve CMV, defined Andrea Alexander, MD, FACOG, a board-certified ob-gyn in Texas and the creator of Black Maternal Mortality: Our Fight Back. That is partially what permits the virus — which is transmitted by bodily fluids, resembling saliva, breast milk, urine, blood, cervical secretions, and semen — to unfold.
Dr. Alexander added that it is pretty uncommon for individuals to expertise signs after the preliminary an infection, however some could have a fever, fatigue, a sore throat, swollen glands, or muscle aches. If or when there is a secondary an infection (which might happen if the virus reactivates), signs are usually much less extreme.
When Does CMV Grow to be Doubtlessly Dangerous?
Those that are immunocompromised are at greater danger of “growing extra extreme signs and potential problems from CMV,” Dr. King defined — together with conditions affecting the eyes, lungs, liver, esophagus, stomach, and intestines. She famous that individuals who have had bone marrow, stem cell, or organ transplants, in addition to these with HIV, are thought-about immunocompromised.
Equally, those that are pregnant or try to grow to be pregnant are additionally at higher danger. If CMV is contracted earlier than or throughout being pregnant, it may be handed to the fetus in utero (an an infection referred to as congenital CMV), or to a child throughout supply or by breast milk, Michelle Rockwell, MD, a household medication doctor in Oklahoma, instructed CelebrityPie. She added that the sooner within the being pregnant the virus is contracted, the upper the chance of problems.
“The mom could get contaminated with CMV whereas she is pregnant and move it alongside to the child, or she might have had CMV earlier than she was pregnant, have a reactivation of the virus whereas pregnant, and move it alongside to the child,” Dr. Rockwell defined. If the an infection happens because of the virus reactivating, a child’s signs (if any) are normally very gentle.
Dr. Alexander famous that contracting CMV for the primary time throughout being pregnant is unusual. She pointed to analysis which means that up to 1.3 percent of infants are born with congenital CMV, and of these circumstances, most are asymptomatic. It is estimated that simply 10 to fifteen p.c of newborns present signs, which, in accordance with Mayo Clinic, could embrace low birth weight, jaundice, pneumonia, and seizures, amongst others. Nonetheless, even infants who seem wholesome at start are in danger for long-term developmental delays linked to CMV, the most typical being listening to loss.
When Ought to You Speak to Your Physician About CMV?
CMV has signs in frequent with a whole lot of different viruses, resembling respiratory infections. For that cause, the consultants CelebrityPie spoke with advocate speaking to your physician should you begin to expertise any of the signs listed right here, particularly should you’re pregnant or work in a child-care or hospital setting the place there’s been an outbreak of CMV. Adults who’re symptomatic might be recognized with a easy blood take a look at.
To guard your self in opposition to the virus, attempt to keep away from direct and extended contact with bodily fluids, and wash your arms steadily, Dr. Rockwell added. Should you’re involved about CMV or should you’ve examined optimistic for the virus, have a dialog together with your physician earlier than changing into pregnant. Whereas the virus is frequent, being recognized with CMV might be overwhelming, however your physician will probably be there to assist information you each step of the best way.