In children and adults, symptoms of cytomegalovirus infection include fever, diarrhea, seizures, pneumonia and ulcers, states Mayo Clinic. Additional symptoms can be hepatitis, encephalitis, behavioral changes, coma and visual impairment. Symptoms occurring in infants include jaundice, rash, purple skin splotches and low birth weight. Others are an enlarged spleen, enlarged liver, pneumonia and seizures.
Cytomegalovirus is a common virus, and most people never know they have it because it does not typically cause symptoms in otherwise healthy individuals, explains Mayo Clinic. However, if the infected individual is immunocompromised or pregnant, cytomegalovirus can cause problems. This virus spreads through bodily fluids, including breast milk and blood. The infection resembles infectious mononucleosis in that fatigue, fever and muscle aches are common symptoms, states the Mayo Clinic.
A pregnant woman who becomes infected with cytomegalovirus can pass the virus to her baby in the womb. This typically occurs during the first trimester, according to Mayo Clinic. Some babies born with cytomegalovirus appear very healthy, but develop symptoms of the infection months or years later. Loss of hearing is the most common late-occurring sign, while vision impairment affects a smaller number.
Cytomegalovirus is closely related to viruses that cause infectious mononucleosis, herpes simplex and chickenpox, reports the Mayo Clinic. The virus is always present in the body after the initial infection, but it enters a dormant state. When cytomegalovirus does reactivate, the individual becomes contagious again. There is no cure for cytomegalovirus, so it is important to never share personal items with infected individuals.