PUBLIC HEALTH FACT SHEET
What is Cytomegalovirus (CMV)?
CMV is a virus that only infects humans and can be found worldwide. It can remain inactive in the body for long periods of time and may become active during times of illness.
How is Cytomegalovirus spread?
CMV may be shed in body fluids (urine, saliva, blood, tears, semen, and breast milk) of an infected person. CMV is spread to other people by close intimate contact with infected body fluids; usually when infected body fluids come in contact with a person’s hands and then the person puts their hands to the nose or mouth of a non-infected person. CMV is spread through sexual contact, blood transfusion, transplanted organs, and mother to infant (during pregnancy or birth or in breast milk).
How is it treated?
Currently, no specific treatment is recommended for CMV infection in the healthy person. An antiviral drug may be given to those with vision problems or who are immune compromised.
How can we prevent CMV?
The best protection against CMV is frequent hand washing with soap and water. Persons who take care of children should always wash their hands after changing diapers. Pregnant or immune compromised people should avoid exposure to people infected with CMV.
SYMPTOMS OF CYTOMEGALOVIRUS
Symptoms vary depending on age and immune status of the person at the time of infection.
Symptoms may include:
- Prolonged fever
- Sore throat
- Vision problems
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)