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Acquired Cytomegalovirus


Acquired cytomegalovirus (CMV)

spreads through contact with body fluids, such as blood, saliva, urine, and tears. It affects both adults and children. Most healthy people do not have symptoms and recover without knowing they are infected. CMV can be spread for months to years after someone is infected. Over time, it can become dormant (inactive) and is less likely to spread. CMV may become active again when a person's immune system becomes weak, such as with an HIV infection or an organ or bone marrow transplant.

Possible symptoms include the following:

  • Fevers for 3 or more weeks and increased fatigue
  • Enlarged lymph glands or sore throat
  • Blurred vision or headache
  • Trouble breathing, cough, or wheezing
  • Pain in your abdomen, muscles, and joints
  • Rash
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Confusion or problems with speech or hearing

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US), or have someone call if:

  • You have a seizure.
  • You cannot be woken.
  • You have trouble breathing.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have severe abdominal pain.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have new or worsening symptoms.
  • Your symptoms return after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for acquired CMV

may not be needed. Your symptoms may go away without treatment. Antiviral medicine may be needed to help treat or prevent a CMV infection.

Prevent the spread of acquired CMV:

Wash your hands often. Always wash your hands well after you use the toilet, diaper a child, and before you prepare or serve food. Use soap and water every time you wash your hands. Rub your soapy hands together, lacing your fingers. Use the fingers of one hand to scrub under the nails of the other hand. Wash for at least 20 seconds. Rinse with warm, running water for several seconds. Then dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel. Use hand sanitizer that contains alcohol if soap and water are not available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands first.


Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Acquired Cytomegalovirus (Ambulatory Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.