What Are the Symptoms of a Cytomegalovirus Infection?


Quick Answer

Cytomegalovirus infection rarely causes any symptoms in healthy adults, but it can cause pneumonia, liver problems and seizures in infants and adults with weak immune systems, says Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms depend on the age of the person with the infection. Infants often exhibit rash, enlarged spleen, jaundice, purple skin blotches and low birth weight. Adults often exhibit diarrhea, encephalitis, coma, visual impairment and digestive tract ulcers. Adults may also exhibit fever and behavioral changes.

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Cytomegalovirus infection is incurable, and most people who have the infection do not know they have it, explains Mayo Clinic. It is spread through bodily fluids. In rare cases, it does cause complications in otherwise healthy people, in which case it can cause symptoms such as blood in the stool, abdominal pain, liver problems, nervous system problems or inflammation of the lungs. There are treatments available for the cases where cytomegalovirus causes symptoms.

Cytomegalovirus infection can cause problems with development prior to birth, says Mayo Clinic. In these cases, cytomegalovirus spreads to the infant from the mother through the placenta. Developmental complications of an infection before birth include eye abnormalities, lack of coordination, hearing loss, mental disability and an undersized head. After birth, the mother can still transmit the virus via breast milk.

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