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Question:
my partner was diagnosed with cytomegolovirus(CMV) during her last pregnancy and thusly bedridden. Now eight years later i am part of her life and we are happily expecting our first child together. She is again experiencing same symptoms as before (weakness, loss of appetite, painful joints..etc) and we are awaiting test results to see if she again has CMV. I was doing research on the net about CMV...little is know to me about this infection. I was looking at the CDC(center for disease control) site and they classify this virus in the herpesvirus group to include simplex 1&2. The site said that CMV can be contagious. But never really explained the "what" is contagious and the symptoms resulting. Is one to expect contraction of flu like symptoms a person would have w/ mono or more like warts and such resulting from genital herpes...it is the same virus group right?...signed, no symptoms but confused and worried!
ms 
Answer:
Thank you for your inquiry. CMV is indeed a DNA virus that belongs to the herpes virus group but its clinical presentation is not the same. Exposure to CMV does not normally result in immediate symptoms, the signs of acute infection generally take time to develop. CMV is very common and screening for evidence of past CMV exposure (by looking for present anti-CMV antibodies) is part of normal antenatal screening. A large % of people aged >20 have CMV antibodies - between 50-90% depending on country. Because CMV may be passed from an acutely infected mother to baby it is important to know if mother has CMV antibodies early in pregnancy. If she does not, and subsequently gets infected (as diagnosed by a rise in CMV antibodies) then one must be concerned about potentially severe effects of CMV on the developing baby. But if at the time of antenatal screening mother has antibodies, then one does not normally need to worry about either the mother suffering from a repeat episode of CMV infection, or the baby getting exposed from a maternal infection. It is only in immunosuppressed patients (e.g. transplant patients) that CMV is likely to reactivate. That said, one would need to see evidence of a rise in IgM titers (titers = levels), or an at least 4x rise in existing or past IgG levels, to diagnose reactivation. Therefore, the test results of both past exposure and present levels are necessary for your doctor to explain to you whether the past diagnosis was accurate and whether there is any present risk to either mother or baby. Hope this helps
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