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Cytomegalovirus: symptoms and treatment


CMV or cytomegalovirus infection - a virus whose study began in the middle of the 20th century, received a loud name because of the amount of destruction that the body produces: “a large poison destroying the cell” Cytomegalovirus infection - a disease from the category of herpes, belongs to the 5th type of infection. Due to the ubiquitous development and ease of distribution, it is in the group of leaders in the number of infected on a global scale. Citalomegavirus is a disease that in an inactive form is found in the body of 4 out of 5 adults and every second child. There are no countries, continents, or even cities where no carriers of this DNA-containing virus would be identified. Safe for healthy people, but carrying a mortal threat to immunocompromised persons, including pregnant women, cytamegalovirus is a subject of active research by scientists. But at the moment, neither the detailed mechanics of the disease, nor the 100% guaranteed cure for the drug was found.

The optimal environment for the cytomegalovirus is body fluids, in particular saliva. In spite of this, it can make habitable any organ or tissue of the human body. Destructive effects can occur:

  • in the brain and its membranes;
  • on mucous ENT organs (nasopharynx);
  • on the retina;
  • in the bronchial tract, in particular the epithelium of the bronchi and lungs;
  • in the urinary organs;
  • in the hematopoietic system;
  • in the digestive organs.

The risk group for which regular control over the form and development of CMVI is a vital necessity is made up of: pregnant women, persons with a tendency to show any type of herpes, and a person who is observed by a doctor for immunodeficiency problems.

The spread of cytomeglovirus infection

Infection with this type of infection occurs in several ways:

  • airborne and in the exchange of saliva partners during a kiss;
  • contact and sex;
  • in the process of blood transfusion from the recipient of an infected donor;
  • prenatal (intrauterine) infection of the fetus;
  • infection of the child while passing through the birth canal of the mother;
  • through mother's milk with a natural type of feeding.

Doctors reassure that airborne droplets are far from the most frequent way of infection with CMVI, and simple communication with a carrier rarely causes infection. The most common ways - kiss and intimate communication.

Symptoms of cytomegalovirus infection

In medical practice, three main variants of the course of CMV infection are considered, each of which requires a certain approach:

  • a virus in a human body without an immune system disorder;
  • virus in individuals with impaired functioning of the immune system;
  • congenital generalized cytomegaly.

Each of these groups has its own characteristics of the disease and symptoms.

For a patient with good immunity, not suffering from serious diseases, the course of CMV infection will resemble common colds or ARVI. There may be headaches and general malaise, fatigue and dispersal of attention, runny nose, signs of bronchitis, as well as nagging pain in the muscles. This course of the disease, called mononucleosis-like syndrome, may be accompanied by fever or chills, tonsil inflammation or lymph node enlargement may be more pronounced. Since the antibodies produced by the body cope with the infection in 2-6 weeks, leaving no trace of it, patients who are prone to self-treatment often do not recognize the true diagnosis by writing off ailments for the flu or a cold. The incubation period of CMVI lasts from three weeks to two months, therefore, as a rule, the patient does not notice the relationship with a real source of infection either.

The chronic form of the disease, which presents itself with rare disorders of the genitourinary system, in the form of non-acute inflammations, also rarely manifests itself. This type of disease is dangerous relapses occurring with a decrease in the body's defenses. In addition, the patient, who himself is practically uncomfortable with the latent form of the virus, is also a carrier who represents a danger to people living in the same room and a sexual partner.

The second group of individuals for whom cytomegalovirus poses the greatest danger are:

  • people with HIV status;
  • persons who have undergone chemotherapy or immunosuppressants;
  • Persons who are on maintenance therapy after organ transplantation or after a serious surgical intervention;
  • patients on hemodialysis.

In this group of patients, the disease is most acute and has serious consequences. The virus infects and destroys the tissues of the liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands, stomach and pancreas. External manifestations may be similar to symptoms of pneumonia or ulcers, the appearance of a rash and a visually noticeable increase in the volume of the salivary glands and lymph nodes. Platelet count is sharply reduced.

For patients with immunodeficiency, cytomegalovirus infection is one of the common causes of death.

The last group is children born from a mother carrying the virus in an active form. The birth of a child with such a pathology is not uncommon, although a fetus infected before the 12th week of development rarely survives, as a rule, such a pregnancy ends in miscarriage.

Disease progression

The incubation period is 20-60 days, acute for 2-6 weeks after the incubation period. Being in the body in a latent state both after infection and during periods of attenuation - for an unlimited time. Even the field of treatment of a virus in the body lives for life, keeping the risk of recurrence, therefore, doctors cannot guarantee the safety of pregnancy and full-fledged carrying even with the onset of persistent and prolonged remission.

CMV infection and its diagnosis

After complaints of general malaise and other symptoms associated with such infections, a set of tests is appointed to confirm or refute the preliminary diagnosis. In the case of cytomegalovirus infection, the virus can be isolated and described in detail after a series of studies presented for the analysis of fluids: blood, semen, saliva, urine. The most commonly performed urine test.

Research methods are:

  • culture or hybridization;
  • polymerase chain reaction (diagnostics with nucleic acids, aimed at the determination of CMV DNA);
  • serodiagnosis.

PCR or polymerase chain reaction is a procedure with nucleic acids, aimed at determining CMV DNA and confirming their presence in the presented fluid. Based on this method, an accurate diagnosis is not made, since the presence of cells does not mean their activity. On the basis of this study, the question of the need for further testing is raised.

The sowing method for most laboratories is basic, since it does not require special equipment. Thanks to this research, the type of virus, its form and degree of aggressiveness are established. Also, experiments on the selection of the most effective treatment method are carried out on the culture colony obtained as a result of sowing, since in each case it is individual.

The laboratory method of serodiagnosis involves the search not only of the virus itself, but also of antibodies produced by the body, the presence of which in a concentration above the norm indicates the presence of CMVI in one form or another. The diagnosis is considered confirmed in case of detection of the virus itself or in case of detection of patterns of increase in the number of IgG antibodies. For this analysis is carried out several times with an interval of 10-15 days. With a constant number that exceeds the norm, the content of antibodies in several tests can be diagnosed latent state of the disease, since a complete cure is impossible. The exact confirmation of the structure of the form characteristic of the primary infection, is the presence in the sample of antibodies of the acute phase of IgM.

Cytomegalovirus and pregnancy

The diagnosis of "cytomegalovirus" in Russia is made to every 4th pregnant woman, observed in the antenatal clinic. For individuals with an asocial lifestyle and prone to promiscuous sex, this figure is higher, as for all STDs. Up to 85% of children born to mothers carrying acute cytamegalovirus, have deviations in health and development provoked by this disease. These may be vices:

  • growth retardation and development of the baby (including serious mental retardation),
  • several types of vasculitis;
  • various types of skin rashes;
  • visual impairment (including retinopania) and hearing (for example, congenital hearing loss);
  • an increase in internal organs;
  • pathology of the development of teeth.

Mortality in children in this case reaches 30%, and infection in the early stages almost always ends in miscarriage. With the favorable development of pregnancy, which allowed the fetus to remain uninfected, the risk of infection persists until the birth process itself. A child can get an infection both from contact with the mother's mucosa during the passage of the birth canal, and through the blood, if the birth takes place by cesarean section. And taking into account cases of infection through mother's milk, there is practically no chance for the full development of a healthy baby in a patient with an acute form of cytomegalovirus infection.

At the same time, the latent or “sleeping” form of the virus does not pose a significant danger to the fetus. Nature itself took care of the protection of the child. If the mother’s immunity copes with the virus present in the body or the infection has already penetrated into the body before conception and has not manifested itself, then its antibodies will be transmitted to the baby’s birth. In addition, the placenta is an excellent filter that can protect the fetus from aggressive effects. Therefore, pregnant women who are seen by a doctor, who immediately after making a diagnosis are waiting for the prescription of any drugs and procedures, do not worry if the medications have not been prescribed. All that is needed in this case - the observation and measures to strengthen the immune system.

A cytomegalovirus test is included in the standard free test package, which allows eliminating these risks during a planned pregnancy, having undergone a course of treatment in advance. In the absence of immunity to cytomegalovirus, confirmed by negative IgG results in ELISA, a pregnant woman should be observed at least once every 3 months to completely eliminate the risk of missing the early stage of infection, which is the most dangerous. The best prevention of infection from a patient in the acute stage - control of sexual relations, protected sex and timely examination of both partners.

Cytomegalovirus treatment

Speaking about the treatment of cytomegalovirus infection, two points must be considered:

  • people who do not have health problems, treatment is not required;
  • people with weakened immunity treatment is vital.

A complete cure for cytomegalovirus is impossible, just as an independent selection of drugs that reduce the viral load on the body is impossible. The course of the disease in each patient is purely individual and a set of drugs, which most often carry out therapy, should be selected based on the results of the analyzes of the particular patient.

Comprehensive treatment in case of cytomegalovirus infection combines two necessary directions. First, the maximum destruction of the virus itself, and secondly, the maintenance of the human immune system and the awakening of its own protective functions. Antiviral drugs, such as Panavir, are used to destroy the virus. It may also be prescribed treatment with ganciclovir, foxarnet or valganciclovir. All these drugs are toxic, their use has a list of side effects and contraindications. Self-designation and self-treatment with such means is prohibited, as with the wrong choice of a drug, the effect may be the opposite: the immune system, failing to withstand this additional load, will become even more vulnerable to the virus.

In some cases, a doctor may be prescribed treatment with an immunoglobulin, that is, a drug prepared from human blood and already containing a small amount of antibodies that can resist infection. This is a course of intravenous injections, conducted only under the supervision of a health worker, strictly according to the prescribed schedule. The application of this method has already proven its effectiveness, but the full picture of its effect on the body has not been completely studied, so the appointment will take place only after passing the full range of tests. In addition, there are a number of contraindications to the treatment of cytomegalovirus with immunoglobulin:

  • parallel course of other vaccinations containing the strain of a virus;
  • diabetes mellitus of any type;
  • allergic predisposition of the body;
  • kidney problems and kidney failure;
  • pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Application of the method requires control over all changes in the body: when dyspnea appears, urination problems, signs of colds and viral diseases appear even in mild form, weight gain and puffiness appear, you must immediately inform the attending physician and, possibly, correct the course of treatment. Also, manifestations of an allergic reaction to the drug can be symptoms similar to meningitis: drowsiness, pain in the eyes with sudden light, nausea and vomiting.

Prevention of CMV infection

Doctors first of all refer to the use of condoms for sex with a non-regular partner, who has doubts about their health status, to prevent infection with a cytomegalovirus infection. Also it is necessary to exclude kisses with a person who has signs of any viral infectious disease: runny nose, sore throat, weakness and fever. Such precautionary measures for pregnant women are particularly relevant, as they are also responsible for their unborn baby, so they should be especially careful.

For all viral diseases, the most effective prevention is to strengthen the immune system. Accordingly, these are all the methods that have been known since childhood:

  • hardening of the body;
  • culture of hygiene and physical education;
  • control of the menu and the addition of vitamins;
  • biologically active additives.

Of the medicinal herbs effective for the treatment and prevention of any viral diseases, including cytomegalovirus infection, can be called ginseng, echinacea, lemongrass. Their use in the form of teas has a positive effect both in the fight against the virus itself, and as a general healing and immunostimulating agent.

Folk remedies for cytomegalovirus

To prevent infection and maintain the infection in a latent state, folk remedies can also be used, but not to the detriment of drug therapy, if it is prescribed.

  • Infusion of seven herbs. Ledum leaves, birch buds, yarrow, leuzea, thyme, train and burnet are taken in equal parts. For 10 grams of powdered dry product, add 1 liter of boiling water and insist in a thermos for 12 hours. The infusion is taken together with food for ¼ cup.
  • With the same method of preparation, a set of levzey, licorice, kopechnik, alder, pharmaceutical chamomile and a train is used.
  • The licorice root herbal tea contains 1 part of flax seed, althea root, mother and stepmother leaves and raspberry, sabelnik and elecampane in 4 parts of the main component. Brewed for 3 hours, consumed with ¼ cup before meals.
  • The use of garlic and onions is important for all types of viral diseases, CMV infection is no exception. Adding 1 clove or 1/6 medium-sized onion of fresh produce per day reduces the risk of infection by 30%.
  • The spread of the virus in a room where patients with infectious diseases are located can be prevented by spraying or evaporating tea tree oil in the air. In the first case, the agent is used in the form of an alcohol-based spray (this form is sold in pharmacies), in the second case, an aroma lamp or a steam bath is used to evaporate the volatile ether.

| 8 April 2014 | | 9,139 | Uncategorized
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Geetanjali K: Speech not clear. Tried to use lot of accent. We need knowledge and not how well you speak English. Too much fillers used while speaking so cannot understand you

Kenneth Smith: I have the CMV virus can you please call me at 352-451-2245 my name is Kenneth Smith thank you we need your help really bad

Jody G.: My husband had a kidney & pancreas transplant on 6/01/15 and was just diagnosed with CMV. He's in the hospital and being treated with IV Ganciclovir. This video was helpful, thanks.

acrock21: As a child my dad never has cmv... when he had his liver transplant in 2012 he got it from the donor. He got cmv and got very sick ... he got meds to combat it and it did fight it off...at the time of transplant the mayo clinic said he have a very strong heart... they tested that because they almost killed him with a botched chem stress test.......now in 2019/2020 he has been struggling with breathing and now has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure . Im just wondering if cmv effects the heart as well..his heart function is at 20% ... and here we go again.