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- Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection facts
- What is cytomegalovirus (CMV)?
- What causes cytomegalovirus infection?
- What are the risk factors for cytomegalovirus infection?
- Is CMV contagious?
- How long is cytomegalovirus contagious?
- How is cytomegalovirus transmitted?
- What is the incubation period for cytomegalovirus?
- What are cytomegalovirus infection symptoms and signs?
- What specialists treat cytomegalovirus infections?
- How do physicians diagnose cytomegalovirus infection?
- What is the treatment for cytomegalovirus infection?
- What is the prognosis of cytomegalovirus infection?
- What are complications of cytomegalovirus infection?
- Is it possible to prevent cytomegalovirus infection? Is there a CMV vaccine?
What causes cytomegalovirus infection?
Direct contact with body fluids from an infected person exposes an individual to CMV. Most healthy children and adults do not experience any symptoms after infection with CMV. However, CMV may cause serious disease in people with a weakened immune system (such as those with HIV/AIDS or those taking medications that suppress immunity). CMV can cause retinitis (blurred vision and blindness), painful swallowing (dysphagia), pneumonia, diarrhea (colitis), and weakness or numbness in the legs.
What are the risk factors for cytomegalovirus infection?
Those at risk for CMV include young children and adults who work closely with them, people who undergo blood transfusions, people who have multiple sex partners, and people who have received a CMV-infected mismatched organ or bone marrow transplant. People at risk for complications from CMV infection include pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system, such as people infected with HIV, individuals who have undergone organ transplantation, cancer patients, or those who are taking medications that might suppress their immune system.