Cytomegalovirus infection (CMV infection)

What is a Cytomegalovirus infection?

The Cytomegalovirus (also, Cytomegalovirus, CMV) belongs to the herpes virus. Similar to the excitation of the cold sore or the chickenpox it remains a primary infection in the body of the person concerned and can be reactivated. For most people, the Cytomegalovirus infection is harmless. Often it is also unnoticed. There are serious diseases especially in people with immune defense weakness. An infection is dangerous during pregnancy, because she can go over to the unborn child and may cause damage.

CMV infection

How often a CMV infection is and how is it transmitted?

Cytomegalovirus infections are common, the virus is widespread throughout the world. Studies of blood donors and pregnant women suggest that about 50 percent of the European average population have undergone a CMV infection. The risk of contagion is dependent on the age and the circumstances of a people. Changing sexual partners as well dealing with small children under three years of age – are more likely to an infection, because they excrete after infection often large amounts of the virus and can infect their mothers or other caregivers.

For each infection, that is both a primary infection and a wake-up, the virus in different body fluids are included. Infection with the virus is possible through contact with infectious saliva, urine, breast milk or blood. During pregnancy, the disease from the mother to the unborn child can go on.
What symptoms occur in a CMV infection?

Expires the illness usually without symptoms in people with a healthy immune system. Rarely occur uncharacteristic flu-like symptoms such as cough, fatigue and fever, or swelling of lymph nodes, such as when a 97th glandular fever (Mononucleosis). Also women who become infected during pregnancy, have often no symptoms.

Infection with cytomegalovirus disease for unborn and people with a congenital or acquired immune deficiencies is dangerous. This may be a consequence of disease or treatment with certain drugs. For example, people with HIV infection, a tumor disease or organ transplant are affected. For them, the virus infects different organs. A certain form of pneumonia is common. Typical symptoms are cough and shortness of breath. But also an infestation of the liver and the intestine is possible. Complaints may be nausea, vomiting, and jaundice. When the virus attacks the retina of the eye, blindness is threatening at worst.

Occur in newborns who have been through an infection in the mother’s womb, growth delays, particularly in a certain form of hearing impairment. It is often associated with neurological

How to handle a CMV infection?

People with a healthy immune system need normally no treatment.

People with an immune deficiencies get sick with active CMV infection, treatment with so-called anti-virals is common. These are drugs that can inhibit the growth of viruses. They are used also in newborn infants with prenatal CMV infection.

Experts do not recommend treatment of pregnant or lactating mothers with these drugs.

In studies, experts currently sure whether pregnant women with a primary CMV infection of hyper-immunoglobulin benefit Рso of highly enriched antibodies. There is preliminary evidence that these antibodies may reduce the risk of contagion of the unborn child. Doctors will also apply the antibodies to CMV therapy at Immungeschwächten.

Can I prevent infection?

Pregnant women are not immune to CMV and have a child under three years of age, should consider following hygiene measures in any case:

Hand hygiene after any contact with bodily fluids of the child (washing, feeding, diaper changing, tears wipe, blowing your nose, and the like). In the private sphere is a thorough hand washing with SOAP and water as sufficient. In health care facilities, a hand disinfection should be done in addition.
Prefer no kissing on the mouth. While the virus can be transmitted.
A common use of crockery, cutlery, toothbrushes, Washcloths and towels.

Pregnant women in the workplace are exposed (for example, in nursery schools or hospitals), the risk of a contagion, a test for CMV antibody in an occupational health survey is recommended. Lack immunity may be pronounced a ban on work. Concerned consult on this issue from the company doctor.

A mother CMV carries within itself, can she the virus during breastfeeding through breast milk the baby transfered. For mature, healthy newborns, this is usually not a problem. However, caution is advised in immature preterm infants. In this case should be discussed with the doctors, what is to be considered.

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