Cytomegalovirus

Cytomegalovirus

Public Health Fact Sheet

What is Cytomegalovirus (CMV)?
CMV is a common virus that affects people of all ages; however, a healthy person's immune system usually keeps the virus from causing illness.  Once infected with CMV, the virus remains inside the person's body for life and can reactivate causing illness during times of illness or stress. 

How is Cytomegalovirus (CMV) spread?
People with CMV may pass the virus in body fluids such as saliva, breast milk, urine, blood, tears, and semen. CMV is spread through close personal contact with infected body fluids. CMV is spread through sexual contact, blood transfusions, transplanted organs, mother to infant, and any time body fluids come in contact with a person's hands and then the person puts their hands to their nose or mouth.

How is Cytomegalovirus (CMV) treated?
Healthy people usually don't require treatment. There are medications that may help that can be given to immunocompromised individuals or infants.

How can Cytomegalovirus (CMV) prevented?
The best protection against CMV is frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water.  People who take care of children should always wash their hands after changing diapers. Pregnant or immunocompromised individuals should avoid exposure to people infected with CMV.

Additional information is available on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/cmv/
Symptoms of Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Symptoms vary depending on age and immune status.  Healthy individuals usually have only mild symptoms.

  • Prolonged fever
  • Sore Throat
  • Fatigue
  • Vision problems
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
  • Swollen glands

February 2020