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Acute cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection

  • Definition

    Acute cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a condition caused by a member of the herpesvirus family.

    See also: Mononucleosis


    Alternative Names

    CMV mononucleosis; Cytomegalovirus (CMV)


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) is very common. The infection is spread by:

    • Blood transfusions
    • Organ transplants
    • Respiratory droplets
    • Saliva
    • Sexual contact
    • Urine

    Most people are exposed to CMV in their lifetime, but typically only individuals with weakened immune systems become ill from CMV infection. Some people with this condition develop a mononucleosis-like syndrome.

    In the U.S., CMV infection most commonly develops between ages 10 - 35. Most people are exposed to CMV early in life and do not realize it because they have no symptoms. People with a compromised immune system can have a more severe form of the disease.