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Why is cytomegalovirus harmful?
Most people who have CMV aren’t aware of it because the virus rarely produces symptoms. The biggest concern is for people who have weak immune systems and women who become infected while pregnant.
Over half of women of childbearing age become infected with CMV at least six months before becoming pregnant.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 to 4 percent of women first become infected with CMV during pregnancy.
Although CMV may be transmitted at delivery or through breast milk, these infections usually do not cause illness in a full-term baby. Premature babies, however, are at greater risk for health complications from CMV transmission through breast milk.
How is cytomegalovirus spread?
How can I prevent catching cytomegalovirus?
Although an infected person may transmit the virus at any time, proper hand washing with soap and water is effective in removing the virus from the hands.
What are the symptoms of cytomegalovirus?
Most babies with congenital CMV do not have symptoms of the infection at birth. However, each baby may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of CMV may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your baby's physician for a diagnosis.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”