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Cytomegalovirus

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common and widespread virus. Most infections happen during childhood, and the majority of adults carry the virus by the time they're 40. But most people infected with CMV don't even know it.

So why worry? In most cases there's no need to. Infected people carry the virus for life, and usually it remains dormant — rarely causing symptoms throughout their lifetime.

But for some people, generally those with compromised immune systems, there's a greater risk of becoming very ill or of developing permanent disabilities from CMV. If you're pregnant and have never been exposed to the virus but develop an active infection, the virus can also cause permanent disabilities in your unborn baby.

There's no cure for CMV, but some antiviral drugs can help people with compromised immune systems and newborns, though side effects may occur. Researchers are studying new medications and vaccines to treat and prevent CMV.

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