Cytomegalovirus belongs to the herpes virus family that typically affects humans. Even though cytomegalovirus infections are quite common, most individuals who are healthy do not even feel sick or notice the infection.
Some individuals especially those who have a weak immune system develop symptoms that strikingly resemble mononucleosis. These individuals are prone to develop cytomegalovirus infections in the eyes, digestive tract or lungs.
Among healthy individuals, the infection settles without treatment but it can take weeks or even months for the symptoms to completely vanish. The fever often resolves in 10 days, but if the lymph nodes and spleen are swollen, it can take up to a month to subside. As for fatigue, it can persist for a few months.
What are the indications?
Many individuals with a cytomegalovirus infection do not have any symptoms but those who have weak immune systems might have severe symptoms and can affect various organs in the body.
The common indications of cytomegalovirus infection include:
- Enlarged liver and glands such as the lymph nodes and the spleen
- Generalized feeling of being sick
- Sore throat
- Muscle ache
- Appetite loss
- Nausea with or without vomiting
Cytomegalovirus is highly contagious and spreads from one individual to another but most do not develop any symptoms. It can spread via bodily fluids as well as from a pregnant mother to her baby.
Various risk factors that heightens the development of cytomegalovirus infection include the following:
- Weak immune system
- Working or attending a daycare or school setting
- Sexual contact with an infected partner
- Close exposure to an infected individual
The infection usually settles on its own and rarely necessitates treatment. Nevertheless, the doctor might prescribe antiviral medications if the individual has a weakened immune system.