Cytomegalovirus or CMV in Women. Cytomegalovirus is a common herpes virus. Many people do not know they have it because they may have no symptoms. But the virus, which remains dormant in the body, can cause complications during pregnancy and for people with a weakened immune system. Also known as HCMV, CMV, or Human Herpes virus 5 (HHV-5), cytomegalovirus is the virus most commonly transmitted to a developing fetus.
People with weakened immune systems who get CMV can have more serious symptoms affecting the eyes, lungs, liver, esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Babies born with CMV can have brain, liver, spleen, lung, and growth problems. Hearing loss is the most common health problem in babies born with congenital CMV infection, which may be detected soon after birth or may develop later in childhood.
Women exposed to CMV prior to conception or within the first trimester of pregnancy and then seroconvert have an increased risk of infection. The virus can be spread through sexual contact, breast milk, organ transplantation and from mother to baby during pregnancy. Washing of hands is the primary recommendation for reducing the spread of CMV. However viral loads are very high in children's saliva and behaviors that expose women to saliva put them at increased risk. Avoiding contact with saliva when kissing a child, and avoiding putting things in your mouth that have been in a child's mouth (i.e. food, cups, forks, spoons or pacifiers) and washing hands after touching a child's saliva or urine especially after changing a diaper or wiping a nose can reduce risk.
Current standards of prenatal care do not include screening for or counseling about CMV. There is also little public education about CMV and as a result of this CMV awareness ranges between 13% and 39% about questions assessed CMV awareness, frequency of past behaviors that transmit CMV, and attitudes toward eight CMV prevention behaviors. Only 15.5% of women were somewhat or very familiar with CMV. Very few women (6.1%) reported hearing from their provider about CMV. Women held positive attitudes toward the CMV prevention behaviors and perceived them as feasible. Least positive attitudes were toward not kissing a child on the lips and not sharing foods. Predictors of positive attitudes were CMV awareness, past behavior, talking to a healthcare provider, and perceived risk reduction. Healthcare providers and public health practitioners should collaborate to increase CMV awareness. Encouraging behaviors to reduce saliva sharing may result in greater gains in reducing CMV infection.
I have tested thousands of patient for CMV as it is generally a part of the total body viral burden that affects immune function. We offer low, medium and high dose Vitamin C drips, I.V. Curcumin, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Meyer's Cocktail with Glutathione and I.V. Ozone MAH and aggressive 10 pass MAH with German biologic immunotherapies to repair the immune system. Many patients with Lyme or autoimmune diseases are postive for CMV. Changing your diet is key, repairing the gut microbiome, taking natural anti-virals, supplements for the eyes and I.V. therapies are great treatment options to erradicate and or reduce CMV viral loads.
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Take this quiz to test your CMV knowledge:
1. Women exposed to congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) ____________________ have an increased risk of infant infection.
A. Prior to conception
B. Within the first trimester of pregnancy and then seroconvert
C. A or B
2. In addition to spreading from mother to infant during pregnancy, how is CMV spread?
A. Via sexual contact
B. Via breast milk
C. Via organ transplantation
D. All of the above
3. All of the following behaviors can reduce the risk of CMV, but which is considered the primary recommendation for reducing its spread?
A. A mother should avoid contact with saliva when kissing a child
B. A mother should wash hands after touching a child's saliva or urine
C. A mother should not put food/other items in her mouth that have been a child's mouth
4. True or False. Routine screening for, or counseling about, CMV is included in the current standards for prenatal care.
5. A cross-sectional descriptive study examined women's attitudes toward CMV prevention behaviors by collecting data from US women who had a child younger than 5 years of age, and were pregnant or planning a pregnancy in the next 12 months. Data from the online survey demonstrated:
A. Most women had heard about CMV from their provide
B. More than half of the women surveyed were very familiar with CMV
C. Women held the least positive attitudes toward not kissing a child on the lips and not sharing food
D. All of the above
1. C. A or B
2. D. All of the Above
3. B. A mother should wash hands after touching a child's saliva or urine
4. B. False
5. Women held the least positive attitudes toward not kissing a child on the lips and not sharing food
For Complete information:
Thackeray R, Magnusson BM. Women’s attitudes toward practicing cytomegalovirus prevention behaviors. Preventive Medicine Reports. 2016(4);517-524.