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Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

CMV is a common viral infection. Most adults and children come into contact with CMV and have no symptoms or problems. Some groups, including those with weakened immunity (i.e., chemotherapy, organ transplants or HIV infection) are at increased risk for more serious infections. In rare cases, children whose mothers were infected during pregnancy may have birth defects such as hearing loss, be mentally challenged and delays in development. The risk is greatest for children born to mothers who are not yet immune to CMV. CMV is a member of the herpes virus family

How is Cytomegalovirus (CMV) spread?

Through contact with blood, saliva or urine of an infected person. Close, prolonged physical contact is necessary for spread to occur. CMV spreads easily (usually without symptoms) in child care settings, most often among children who drool and are in diapers

What are the symptoms of Cytomegalovirus (CMV)?

The most common symptoms include watery diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain or tenderness and nausea

How long is a patient contagious?

Virus may be present in urine or saliva for the rest of the person’s life, even in people with no symptoms. Saliva and urine should always be treated as infectious

How can I prevent infection?

  1. Frequent, careful hand washing by child care staff, children and household members.
  2. Minimize contact with saliva, such as kissing on the lips or hands.
  3. Clean, rinse with clean water, then disinfect items contaminated with saliva or urine.

For more information, please call the Northern Kentucky Health Department at 859.363.2070.

Added April 2015