Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus belonging to the herpes family. The disease occurs worldwide and is transmitted by human contact. About 80-85% of people over age 35 have been infected with cytomegalovirus, usually during childhood or early adulthood. In most of these people, the disease is so mild that it's overlooked. However, CMV infection during pregnancy can be hazardous to the fetus, possibly leading to stillbirth, brain damage, other birth defects, or neonatal illness.
Cytomegalovirus has been found in the saliva, respiratory droplets, urine, semen, breast milk, feces, blood (transfusions), and vaginal and cervical secretions of infected persons. Transmission usually takes place through contact with these infected secretions, which harbor the virus for months or even years.
Immunodeficient patients (AIDS patients or who have those who have received transplanted organs), are at high risk of contracting CMV infection. Recipients of blood transfusions from donors with positive CMV antibodies are at some risk.
There is no specific treatment available; antiviral medications do not help. Relief of symptoms is provided with analgesics, and warm salt water gargles for sore throat.
In most patients, the disease usually runs a benign, self-limiting course. Most patients recover within 4 to 6 weeks without medication. Fever usually resolves in around 10 days, and swollen lymph glands and spleen return to normal in 4 weeks. Fatigue may linger for 2 to 3 months.
As with EBV, mono most often results when CMV infection occurs in the teens and 20s. Immunodeficient patients and those receiving immunosuppressives may develop pneumonia or other secondary infections. Other possible complications include secondary throat infection, rupture of spleen (rare) and neurologic complications (rare).
October, 2014: Australian researchers published their research findings in the journal Immunity that chronic cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection can lead to the development of Sjogren's syndrome, the second-most common autoimmune disease. Some 50-80% of people in developed countries are infected with CMV, which is usually not a problem, but combined with a certain genetic background, chronic CMV can trigger autoimmunity.
Mononucleosis-like disease may be caused by the cytomegalovirus (CMV) as well as the classic mononucleosis of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Both viruses are members of the herpes virus family. Mononucleosis caused by EBV is the most frequently encountered type and is responsible for approximately 85% of infectious mononucleosis cases. Sore throat is less common in people who have CMV mono than in those infected with EBV.
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a potent inactivator of lipid-enveloped viruses.
Rest is needed, sometimes for a month or longer to regain full activity levels.
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