14 September 2018

Take 7: CMV in infants

Clinical O&G

Cytomegalovirus is the most common of the congenital viral infections.

“It occurs in around 1% of all live births,” Associate Professor Andrew Daley, a paediatrician and infectious disease physician at The University of Melbourne, says.

“CMV is another herpes virus,” he says.

“You have a primary infection and then it stays dormant in your white blood cells. It can reactivate at times of intercurrent illness, immunosuppression.

“The main risk is a primary infection during pregnancy but even then only 10% of babies are born with symptomatic disease. Those babies often have long term problems.”

“The virus is shed in all the body secretions, but particularly in saliva and urine,” says Associate Professor Daley.

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