What is Cytomegalovirus?
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common infection caused by a type of herpes virus. Once CMV is in a person’s body, it stays there for life and can reactivate. A person can also be re-infected with a different strain (variety) of the virus.
Cytomegalovirus during pregnancy can pass to the foetus, which can cause congenital CMV. Congenital CMV is a condition that’s present at birth and can lead to hearing loss or developmental issues.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus for people of all ages; however, a healthy person’s immune system usually keeps the virus from causing illness.
In some cases, infection in healthy people can cause mild illnesses that may include:
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands
- Occasionally, CMV can cause mononucleosis or hepatitis (liver problem).
People with weakened immune systems who get CMV can have more serious symptoms affecting the eyes, lungs, liver, oesophagus, stomach, and intestines. Babies born with CMV can have brain, liver, spleen, lung, and growth problems.
Treatment of Cytomegalovirus:
Healthy people who are infected with CMV usually do not require medical treatment. Medications are available to treat CMV infection in people who have weakened immune systems and babies with signs of congenital CMV.
A provider can treat CMV with the antiviral medications ganciclovir (GCV) or valganciclovir (VGC). These drugs are given directly into your vein (IV infusion) or swallowed in a pill. Antiviral medications can’t reverse any damage that’s already been done. They can lessen the risk of health problems in babies born with CMV but may not completely prevent them. Children with congenital CMV can also be treated with speech and occupational therapy to manage the effects of hearing loss and developmental issues.
Even if you have a healthy immune system, symptoms of CMV can last for a long time. You may feel run-down, tired, or weak for several weeks or months. Therefore, treatment is a long-term process.
People with healthy immune systems who develop symptoms of CMV can be sick for one week to several months. Serious complications from CMV are rare.
Half of the children who have congenital CMV at birth will have lasting health effects. These often include hearing or vision loss and developmental differences. Infants with severe symptoms may have life-threatening complications of CMV.
What Should You Do if You Have Cytomegalovirus?
If you are a healthy adult, you do not need medical treatment for CMV. By adopting a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a healthy diet, your symptoms will go on their own.
If you have a compromised immune system, you must take CMV medications. Please speak to your doctor about which medications he or she will prescribe for you. These include those mentioned in this blog.
At Metro Male Clinic we have many doctors who have the skills and experience for treating cytomegalovirus. Therefore, if you or your child, have this infection please come to us. We will be happy to treat you.