For most people, infection with cytomegalovirus is harmless. But a primary infection during pregnancy is dangerous for the baby.

Cytomegalovirus is a viral disease that is caused by the CMV virus from the herpes family of viruses. The disease can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, blood transfusions, organ transplants or grease on contact and kissing. The cytomegalovirus infection remains after a lifetime in the lymphoid tissue of humans. If the illness is over, the virus for weeks through saliva or urine to be excreted and thus remains highly infectious for long. The disease course after infection unnoticed only once, so you can not say with absolute certainty how long the incubation period (the time from infection to the onset of the disease). It starts from about two to six weeks.

Symptoms of Cytomegalovirus

An initial infection with the CMV virus runs in 99 percent of all cases with no visible signs of illness. This means that a healthy adult of his disease virus do not even noticing. If symptoms are present, there are usually fever, swollen lymph nodes , headache and body aches. In some cases it can lead to hepatitis or polyneuritis (nerve inflammation).
Cytomegalovirus is the rather harmless to healthy adults, it may be life threatening during pregnancy for the unborn child. Especially with an infection of the mother in the first and second trimester of pregnancy can cause malformations of the child, or even come to a miscarriage. It can with the unborn heart malformations occur in the gastrointestinal tract, bone and muscle. If the child was not infected in the womb through the placenta (placenta) with the virus, it can also occur during childbirth or through breast milk later. Even the baby through a blood transfusion may be infected. This is precisely where similar symptoms of blood poisoning, liver and spleen to swell, there is a drop in platelets and lung problems occur. With such complications, the mortality of the newborn is about 10 percent. There are also cytomegalovirus infections, which occur completely unrecognized and are where the babies in good health to the world.


Preventive measures

A cytomegalovirus disease is unfortunately not really treatable and not 100 percent preventable. It is, however, so that will be detected in the antibodies in the blood of pregnant women, so perhaps by the administration of immunoglobulins or an infection can be prevented. If the pregnant woman still no antibodies in their blood, they should take all feasible measures to prevent infection. The following preventive measures can be taken:

¤the major transmission routes out of the way to go (to avoid smear contacts, especially with young children)
¤careful attention to hygiene
¤test in screening blood for antibodies
¤look for in the regular ultrasound examinations on changes in the fetus (for example, evidence of calcification of the brain perceive)
¤there is evidence of antibodies present in the blood, the infection can be achieved by amniocentesis, an umbilical cord puncture or a chromosomal analysis (chorionic villus sampling) to be confirmed.

An infection with the CMV virus during pregnancy (embryopathy) is in fact reported. There is no vaccine against cytomegalovirus, it has not, however, several vaccines are currently under development.