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Cytomegalovirus Infection Essay

1025 words - 5 pages

My major focus and point of discussion for my report is Cytomegalovirus (CMV). I chose this Contagious Disease because it hits very close to home. This disease is also linked to other members of the herpes virus family that cause chickenpox, infectious mononucleosis, fever blisters (herpes simplex type I) and genital herpes (herpes simplex type II). Like other herpes viruses, CMV infection can become dormant for a while and may reactivate later. The virus is carried by people and is not associated with food, water or animals.
The high numbers of multiple people infected with Cytomegalovirus is about 50-80 percent at some time during their lives. In my report I will focus on key pints such ...view middle of the document...

People with weak immune systems have a greater risk of becoming ill from CMV. If you're pregnant and develop an active infection, you can pass the virus to your baby.
There's no cure for CMV, but drugs can help treat newborns and people with weak immune systems.

• How is CMV spread?
Although the virus is not highly communicable, it can be spread from person to person by direct contact. The virus is shed in the urine, saliva, semen and to a lesser extent in other body fluids. Transmission can also occur from an infected mother to her fetus or newborn and by blood transfusion and organ transplants.

• What are the symptoms of CMV infection?
Symptoms in people with compromised immunity
An illness resembling infectious mononucleosis is the most common presentation of CMV in people with weakened immune systems (immune-compromised). CMV also can attack specific organs. Signs and symptoms may include:
Visual impairment and blindness
Ulcers in the digestive tract, possibly causing bleeding
Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
Behavioral changes
Most people infected with CMV who are otherwise healthy experience few if any symptoms. When first infected, some adults may have symptoms similar to mononucleosis, including fatigue, fever and muscle aches.

• How long can a person carry CMV?
CMV remains in the body throughout a lifetime. Infected people may occasionally shed the virus in urine or saliva. Several studies have found that from three to 11 percent of normal adults and up to 50 percent of healthy children shed the virus in either urine or saliva. The virus rapidly dies once outside the body.

• How it’s diagnosed and what treatments are available?
There are special laboratory tests to culture the virus but such testing is difficult, expensive and not widely available. Specific blood tests can be helpful to the physician in making a diagnosis or determining if a person has been exposed but the results are sometimes inaccurate.
No treatment is currently indicated for CMV infection in healthy individuals. Antiviral treatment is used for immune-compromised...

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