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6 Causes and Symptoms of Cytomegalovirus in Children

You probably don’t think of herpes being a child’s health problem, but there exists a children’s disease that is sparked by the same virus. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) can infect “almost anyone” and the virus will stay with you for life, even if there are no symptoms (which is common in otherwise healthy people, says the Mayo Clinic).

CMV can make it to a baby through breast milk, which isn’t usually a danger to the child. However, an expectant mother with the viral symptoms can infect the newborn. Children and teenagers can have symptoms that can be mistaken for another illness. Here are six things to know about this virus…

1. Cytomegalovirus is the Most Common Congenital Infection

According to HealthyChildren.org, cytomegalovirus (or CMV) is the most prevalent virus at birth from infected mothers in the U.S. As mentioned before, babies can get the virus through breast milk, but there are other ways junior can wind up with the problem.

The source notes unborn babies can get CMV through the placenta, the source of nourishment for the fetus. Babies can also contract the virus during delivery from an infected genital tract, adds the source. Just how common is CMV? One source, Medscape, notes, “At least 60-percent of the US population has been exposed to CMV, with a prevalence of more than 90-percent in high-risk groups.”

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