Have you ever heard of cytomegalovirus or also known as CMV? Many people are unaware of this virus that is easily susceptible at many daycare settings. This virus is one that someone can have and not even know they are carrying it due to not having symptoms. Cytomegalovirus is a virus that is related to the herpes virus and the viruses that cause chickenpox and mononucleosis (mono). This virus, much like the herpes virus, can be active and inactive at times. If your immune system is weak the virus can reactivate and cause symptoms. Once contracted with this virus it is incurable. Healthcare professionals are saying it can be prevented.
CMV can shed through urine, saliva, semen, and any other bodily fluids. The virus can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her fetus or newborn. So how does this affect daycares? Daycares’ have children who could be affected by the virus that are sharing toys that they could have been in their mouths, or even daycare workers contracting the virus from changing diapers and cleaning up a child without proper handwashing. Sharing utensils, drinks, and making sure that all toys and the entire setting of the daycare facility get sanitized daily should help to keep the virus prevented.
If you believe you or your child could have contracted cytomegalovirus it is important to contact your primary healthcare professional to be tested. The best way to be tested is to have a blood test performed. A blood test will tell you if you have a new infection or if you have had the infection in the past. Patients who are pregnant and test positive for CMV will need to be closely monitored for the health of both the baby and the mother.
Some signs to look for as an adult if concerned of having CMV:
- Swollen glands
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
Signs to look for in a newborn:
- Bruise-like rashes
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
Complications of CMV can include the following if not treated properly:
- Vision loss (retinitis)
- Digestive system issues (colitis, esophagitis, hepatitis)
- Nervous system issues (encephalitis)
Cytomegalovirus is most transmitted from women who are pregnant to their unborn child. As serious as this virus sounds, it can be prevented. Let’s be proactive and discuss the ways of preventing this virus from spreading.
Washing your hands is one of the most important tools to many viruses being transmitted between people. Kissing a child, sharing your drink or food with a child is another way to pass this virus and many others. Cleaning toys, counters, and areas where kids are playing will help with the spread of illnesses including CMV. As adults, practicing safe sex is important as bodily fluids is a common transmission for cytomegalovirus.
Take a stand against CMV and join a clinical trial for a potential vaccine. To learn more, visit our study page here.