As there are many steps one could take to fight against CMV, this infection is one that can go unnoticed over time. Many people affected with CMV are asymptomatic. This leaves people unaware that they could potentially have cytomegalovirus or be a carrier.
CMV is common as it spreads through one’s body fluids and affects over 40 percent of the world’s population. Once contracting this virus, it stays in your body for life. Childbearing women who have the virus can pass it to their unborn child. Some babies are not affected while others suffer permanent disabilities, and some may not survive.
Signs and Symptoms
In some cases, infection in healthy people can cause mild illness that may include:
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands
People with weakened immune systems who get CMV can have more serious symptoms affecting the eyes, lungs, liver, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.
Babies born with CMV can have brain, liver, spleen, lung, and growth problems. The most common long-term health problem in babies born with congenital CMV infection is hearing loss, which may be detected soon after birth or may develop later in childhood.
People with CMV may pass the virus in body fluids, such as saliva, urine, blood, tears, semen, and breast milk. CMV is spread from an infected person in the following ways:
- From direct contact with saliva or urine, especially from babies and young children
- Through sexual contact
- From breast milk to nursing infants
- Through transplanted organs and blood transfusions
To make a change with this virus, communities and the public must become more knowledgeable on the prevention of cytomegalovirus. Washing your hands, not sharing food and drinks with children, avoiding kissing a child on the lips, disinfecting toys and surfaces on a regular basis are some of the few prevention tools for CMV.
If you are interested in taking a step to prevent CMV, reach out to Preferred Research Partners to ask about our cytomegalovirus vaccine research trial. CMV is the most common infectious cause of birth defects, but there is currently no approved vaccine against this virus. The CMVictory trial is studying an investigational vaccine for CMV and is looking for volunteers. The trial will evaluate the vaccines safety in women who test positive for CMV due to prior exposure. To learn more, visit our study page here.