Acquired Cytomegalovirus


What do I need to know about acquired cytomegalovirus?

  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus that spreads through contact with body fluids, such as blood, saliva, urine, and tears. It affects both adults and children. Most healthy people do not have symptoms and recover without knowing they are infected.

  • CMV can be spread for months to years after someone is infected. Over time, it can become dormant (inactive) and is less likely to spread. CMV may become active again when a person's immune system becomes weak, such as with an HIV infection or an organ or bone marrow transplant.

What are possible symptoms of acquired CMV?

  • Fevers for 3 or more weeks and increased fatigue

  • Enlarged lymph glands or sore throat

  • Blurred vision or headache

  • Difficulty breathing, cough, or wheezing

  • Pain in your abdomen, muscles, and joints

  • Rash

  • Vomiting and diarrhea

  • Confusion or problems with speech or hearing

How is acquired CMV diagnosed and treated? Your healthcare provider may test your blood, urine, or saliva to find out if you have CMV. You may also need other tests, depending which of your organs are affected by CMV. Your symptoms may go away without treatment. Or, you may need antiviral medicine to help treat or prevent CMV infection.

How can I prevent the spread of acquired CMV? Wash your hands often. Always wash your hands well after you use the toilet, diaper a child, and before you prepare or serve food. This will help prevent you from getting and spreading CMV.


When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have new or worsening symptoms.

  • Your symptoms return after treatment.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I or someone close to me seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You have seizures.

  • You cannot be awakened.

  • You have trouble breathing.

  • You have severe abdominal pain.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.