February 2009, Volume 39 Number 2 , p 22 - 22
A COMMON VIRUS that infects people of all ages, cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a member of the herpesvirus family, which includes herpes simplex and the viruses that cause chicken pox (varicella zoster) and infectious mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr). It's most commonly transmitted through direct contact with body fluids, such as urine, saliva, breast milk, and blood; the virus is also found in tears, semen, and vaginal fluids.
Most people are infected with CMV at some point in their lives, but it rarely causes serious disease in healthy adults. It's most dangerous to immunocompromised or seriously ill patients and to infants who are infected prenatally by their mothers. 1
Possible complications of CMV infection include hearing or vision loss, developmental defects in newborns, and life-threatening pneumonia in immunocompromised adults. CMV infection may also cause gastrointestinal ...