CMV

Page last reviewed: 13/07/2011

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus. It is usually harmless. It can affect almost anyone.

Once you are infected with CMV, the virus stays in your body for life. Most people won’t know they have CMV because it doesn’t usually cause any problems for healthy people.

But if you are pregnant and you get CMV, it may be a concern. This is because the infection can be passed to your baby. This is called a congenital CMV infection.

Read more about CMV in pregnancy

Page last reviewed: 13/07/2011

If you are healthy and you get cytomegalovirus (CMV), you may not get any symptoms.

If you do have symptoms, they will be similar to the symptoms of flu. Symptoms usually get better on their own within 3 weeks.

If you have a weak immune system, a CMV infection that reoccurs can cause a wide range of symptoms

Flu and symptoms of flu

Read more about symptoms of CMV if you have a weak immune system and CMV in unborn and newborn babies

Page last reviewed: 13/07/2011

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) can be spread through body fluids, including:

  • saliva (spit)
  • poo (faeces)
  • blood
  • breast milk
  • semen
  • tears
  • pee (urine)
  • vaginal fluids

Your chance of getting CMV from casual contact is very low. For example, shaking hands, speaking with someone or on public transport.

Read about the causes of CMV in pregnancy and the chances of your unborn baby developing CMV.

Page last reviewed: 13/07/2011

Having a cytomegalovirus (CMV) blood test during pregnancy can diagnose a CMV infection.

Read more about diagnosing CMV in unborn and newborn babies

Page last reviewed: 13/07/2011

There is no recommended treatment for cytomegalovirus (CMV) or congenital CMV during pregnancy.

Once you are infected with CMV, the virus stays in your body for life. Most people won’t know they have CMV because it doesn’t usually cause any problems for healthy people.

Read more about Treatment for cytomegalovirus (CMV) in newborn babies

Page last reviewed: 13/07/2011

There are ways you can reduce your risk of catching cytomegalovirus (CMV). Especially if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.

Read about preventing cytomegalovirus (CMV) in pregnancy

Good hygiene

Maintaining high levels of hygiene may help prevent a cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection developing. For example, always wash your hands:

  • before preparing, serving or eating food
  • after going to the toilet
  • after changing a baby’s nappy
  • after you have touched any body fluids, such as semen or urine

Clean any surfaces that have come into contact with any body fluids and wear disposable gloves while doing this.

Content provided by NHS Choices www.nhs.uk and adapted for Ireland by the Health A-Z.

Browse Health A-Z