Medical professional speaking with text displayed "Cytomegalovirus (CMV)"

All You Need to Know About Cytomegalovirus

What is Cytomegalovirus?

It is a common virus, also referred to as CMV, that can infect people of all ages. Cytomegalovirus can be easily spread through an infected person’s saliva or other bodily fluids. Infection can spread through direct contact with saliva or bodily fluid, through sexual contact, breast milk to nursing infants, or through transplanted organs and blood infusions. Those with a weakened immune system are especially vulnerable to get sick. Whereas someone with a strong and healthy immune system may not experience problems.

The different types of CMV infection are:
  • This is when a baby gets CMV from its mother before birth.
  • This is the first time someone gets CMV. It usually doesn’t cause symptoms, but some people may have signs that look like mononucleosis.
  • An infection that has been dormant can become active again when your immune system is weakened. It can happen if you have advanced HIV, are in treatment for cancer, or have an organ transplant.

Some common symptoms of primary CMV can include fatigue, swollen glands, fever, sore throat, and muscle aches. Some less-common symptoms of primary CMV that someone may experience are changes to personality, headaches, trouble concentrating, shortness of breath, and dry cough. Symptoms of congenital and reactivation CMV can be more intense or severe.

Symptoms of congenital CMV (babies born with CMV) may include:
  • Premature delivery
  • Small size or low birth weight
  • Bruise-like rashes
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Swollen liver and spleen
  • Small head
  • Seizures
  • Hearing loss
  • Pneumonia
  • Liver inflammation
Symptoms of reactivation CMV with HIV may include:
  • Trouble with eyesight
  • Stomach issues
  • Painful swallowing
  • Confusion
  • Lower back pain
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

Research is in development for CMV vaccines which will be most important for women of childbearing age, immunocompromised people, and children, who all pose the highest threat to the virus. If you are interested to learn more about CMV vaccine research, contact us by phone at (501) 553-9987 or email