Cytomegalovirus is an infection that appears in pregnant women and can affect the baby in a very small percentage of cases. These are the most common symptoms!
Infection can occur at any time during pregnancy or during the neonatal period (by intimate contact with people who are infected, by breastfeeding if the mother has the disease, or by blood transfusion contaminated by CMV).
Cytomegalovirus infection symptoms
It is a mild infection or without symptoms (the mother does not realize that she is suffering from it because she does not feel sick). The 90% of fetuses who are infected suffer no repercussions to the birth and development is normal. However, 5% of affected babies may develop deafness over time .
5% have symptoms of the infection at birth :
- Cerebral palsy
- Microcephaly (abnormally small head)
- Learning difficulties
- Lung involvement (pneumonitis)
- Anemia and decreased platelets
- Ocular involvement
- Spleen and liver enlargement
Treatment and prevention
There is currently no effective treatment for congenital or neonatal cytomegalovirus infection. Cytomegalovirus screening tests in the pregnant mother are not routinely performed during pregnancy; this is so because the overall risk of serious disease to the fetus is very low. Nurseries and hospitals are the places where cytomegalovirus infection is most common. Good hand washing is recommended to avoid contagion.