What Is Cytomegalovirus infection?
Cytomegalovirus infection is a common virus belonging to the same family as herpes virus. It can spread by the direct contact of body fluids, like blood, urine, saliva, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluids. It can infect anyone, but people with weakened immune system or females who are pregnant need to be more concerned about it.
CMV is related to the viruses that cause herpes simplex, chickenpox, and mononucleosis. CMV may lie dormant and then become active. In health people, it mainly remains dormant.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cytomegalovirus infection?
Cytomegalovirus, once entering the body, remains there for life. Most healthy people do not experience any symptoms of the infection. However, different people experience different symptoms, like:
- Babies with congenital CMV: Jaundice, premature birth, low birth weight, pneumonia, enlarged liver with poor functioning, rash or purple skin patches or both, enlarged spleen, abnormally small head, and seizures etc.
- People with weakened immunity: Such people may experience more serious symptoms and signs affecting their eyes, liver, lungs, stomach, esophagus, intestines, and brain.
- Otherwise healthy adults: Amongst healthy people, most people infected with CMV experience very few signs or symptoms. When first infected, some adults may have symptoms like fever, fatigue, sore throat or muscle aches.
What Are The Causes Of Cytomegalovirus infection?
During the activation phase, this infection can be passed on to the other people.
Transmission might occur through:
- Touching the inner side of the nose or mouth or the eyes, after contacting the body fluids of an infected person.
- The breastfeeding by an infected mother.
- Sexual intercourse or oral sex with an infected person.
- Blood transfusions
- Organ transplantation.
- Birth. An infected mother can pass the virus to her baby before or during birth. First time infected mother has higher risk of virus transmission to the baby as compared to a reactivated infection.
- Casual contact doesn't transmit CMV.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Cytomegalovirus infection?
- People with HIV+CMV infection should seek medical help immediately.
- Stay clean.
- Wash your hand frequently with soap.
- Be extra careful if your immune system is weak.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Cytomegalovirus infection?
- Avoid contact with the infected patient, which involves transmission through secretion. E.g., drinking/ eating in same utensils, having sex, blood transfusion etc.
- No treatment is generally recommended for healthy people with CMV infection.
- Avoid routine test for CMV infection.
- If you are taking care of a CMV infected child, please avoid contact with saliva or urine of the child. E.g., wash hands after diaper change.
What Are The Best Foods For Cytomegalovirus infection?
- 500mg to 1000mg of lysine daily is an excellent defence against CMV and can help in stopping viruses replicating.
- Vitamin C taken in large quantities (2000-10000mg) daily can help in fighting any kind of herpes infection.
- Vitamin B rich foods help in building a strong immunity, essential for fighting the infection. So, take plenty of sea foods, green leafy vegetables, bananas, poultry, potatoes and fortified cereals.
What Are The Worst Foods For Cytomegalovirus infection?
Foods that lower the immunity are the enemies of any healthy body. Hence, one should be consuming foods like:
- Fast foods, pizzas, pasta, fine grain breads, fried foods etc. should be avoided.
- Caffeine containing products like tea, coffee should be avoided.
- Take off red meat from your food list as it is difficult to digest and puts pressure on the digestive system.
- Avoid alcohol.
What Are The Medicines For Cytomegalovirus infection?
What Are The Tips To Manage Cytomegalovirus infection?