Many people are perplexed when they hear that they have a cytomegalovirus (CMV). What is it? How did he get into the body? What methods to fight him? Do not despair. CMV is not harmful if a person’s immune system is functioning normally. It can only be dangerous for pregnant women. Therefore, until today, no special treatment has been developed. And in response to a question, CMV - what it is and how to deal with it, the doctor will recommend to strengthen the immune system. Consider what the virus is.
What is CMV?
The study of the virus began only in the middle of the 20th century. It was then that scientists faced the question: “CMV - what is it?” After evaluating the amount of violations that the virus provokes in the body, doctors gave it a loud name. Literally, it translates as "a big poison that destroys a cell."
And yet, CMV - what is it? Pathology belongs to the category of herpes. It belongs to type 5 infection. Such a virus is very common. By the number of infected he leads. Statistics show that CMV is found in 4 out of 5 adults and almost every second baby.
The virus is completely safe for a healthy person. But for a patient with weak immunity, he is a mortal threat. That is why scientists continue to actively explore it today: CMV - what is it, how to get rid of it. But, unfortunately, they are not ready to give answers to these questions. After all, there is still no detailed mechanics of the course of the disease. And not a single medicine has been found that provides a complete cure.
The optimal environment for the life of the virus are body fluids. Often it is saliva. But at the same time he is able to penetrate into any organ, tissue.
Its destructive effects can affect:
The risk group includes people:
- Persons prone to the manifestation of any kind of herpes.
- Patients suffering from immunodeficiency.
Ways to transmit CMV
The source of infection is a sick person. In this case, the virus is contained in a variety of secrets:
This allows you to understand how a person becomes infected with a virus. Infection can occur in the following ways:
- when kissing;
- contact and sex;
- during blood transfusions;
- intrauterine infection;
- during breastfeeding;
- in the process of passing the baby through the birth canal.
Mere communication with a person carrying a virus rarely leads to infection. Airborne infection is not the most common method of infection. Most often, the virus enters the body of a healthy person during a kiss or an intimate relationship.
Once infected, the patient remains forever a carrier of the virus. At the same time, antibodies form in his body.
Categories of infected people
The course of pathology is quite diverse and depends mainly on the immune system. Therefore, considering CMV (what it is, the symptoms of the disease), it is necessary to consider this factor.
Doctors distinguish the following categories of patients:
- People with normal immunity.
- Infants diagnosed with congenital cytomegaly.
- Persons suffering from impaired functioning of the immune system.
Each group is distinguished by its symptoms and features of the course of the disease.
The course of the disease in a healthy person
Often, the pathology resembles a common cold. But cytomegaly, unlike ARVI, takes a longer period - 4-6 weeks.
- runny nose;
- high temperature;
- swelling of the throat;
- enlarged lymph nodes, liver, spleen;
- muscle pain;
- skin rash, inflammation of the joints.
Vividly characterizes CMV - what it is - the photo posted in this article.
Some people may have symptoms resembling mononucleosis. However, for patients with normal immunity, this phenomenon is rare. In mononucleosis syndrome, the following symptoms are observed:
Such manifestations occur after the moment of infection for 20-60 days. The course of pathology usually lasts about 2-6 weeks. Often the disease ends with a complete cure. Special antibodies are produced in the human body.
Sometimes an infection can manifest itself as an inflammation of the genitourinary system. But such features of the disease for a healthy person - a rarity. In men, the urethra may be affected. Sometimes the infection covers the tissues of the testicles.
It is important to understand if CMV is detected, what it is in women. Infection can lead to erosion of the cervix, provoke inflammation of the ovaries, vagina. With this course of the disease is very high risk of infecting the baby in utero or during childbirth.
Symptomatology of people with reduced immunity
This category includes:
- Individuals with HIV status are positive.
- Patients after chemotherapy.
- Persons who took immunosuppressants.
- Patients after organ transplantation or undergoing major surgery.
- People on hemodialysis.
What does CMV mean for this population group? This is usually an acute course of the disease and the presence of serious complications. With reduced immunity, the tissues of the spleen, liver, adrenal glands, and kidneys are damaged and destroyed. The stomach and pancreas suffer.
The external manifestations of the disease often resemble the symptoms of pneumonia or ulcers. In these patients, an increase in lymph nodes. In the body dramatically reduced platelet count.
The course of the disease is often accompanied by the following complications:
- lesions of various internal organs.
Sometimes the infection spreads throughout the body. The characteristic symptoms of this form are:
- damage to the eyes, digestive system, lungs;
- destruction of tissues of the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, adrenal glands;
- inflammation of the brain (often leads to death).
Sometimes the mother of a newborn baby hears the “verdict” - CMV. What is it about a child? Unfortunately, this is a congenital pathology. Most often, the baby is infected from the mother, carrying CMV in active form during pregnancy.
It is difficult to predict how pathology will affect the infant. It largely depends on the duration of the pregnancy, at which the woman had an infection. Sometimes the crumbs, protected by maternal antibodies, easily carry it. But very often, symptoms show, characterizing congenital CMV, that this is a severe pathology in a child.
The main signs of the disease are:
- prematurity, low weight, delayed development in the womb;
- disorders of the respiratory system;
- hepatitis, enlargement of the spleen, liver;
- symptoms of cardiovascular failure;
- hemorrhagic rash;
- prolonged, marked jaundice;
- microcephaly, chorioretinitis, neurological disorders;
- thrombocytopenia, anemia;
- interstitial nephritis.
Such manifestations make themselves felt in the first 3-5 weeks from the moment of birth. Severe infection often leads to death. Sometimes a child may be disabled.
CMV and pregnancy
Plays an important role in how long the woman was sick. It is known that an infection carried over to week 12 often leads to miscarriage. Such babies simply do not survive.
If a woman is infected at a later date, then it is usually not scary. After all, the baby has already formed a circle of blood circulation.
It is best if the woman had the infection before conception. In this case, the crumb will be reliably protected by maternal antibodies.
Modern doctors are well aware, if we are talking about CMV, what it is during pregnancy. Therefore, screening for a virus is included in the standard set of tests. This eliminates the risk of pathology during a planned pregnancy.
This is a very time consuming process. After all, symptoms are often blurred. A patient who has a clinical picture that resembles this infection, the doctor will recommend to take a CMV test. What is it? This definition is a laboratory by the presence in the body of the virus.
As a rule, one analysis is not enough. Therefore, several laboratory tests are required. They allow you to determine not only the presence of the virus, but also the stage of infection.
So, consider, if doctors suspect CMV, what kind of analysis is it to diagnose pathology?
The following studies are used to confirm the disease:
- PCR method. This is a survey of various human excretions: saliva, blood, breast milk, vaginal secretions. This method allows you to confirm the presence in the blood of the pathogen. However, it is impossible to determine the activity of the virus using this study.
- ELISA method. The survey allows you to get a more complete description of the processes occurring in the body. This method will require the patient to take blood from a vein. This analysis determines the presence of IgG or IgM antibodies. In a person who has had CMV for a long time, the first type will be detected in the blood. Such antibodies protect the body from re-infection. The presence of IgM in the blood indicates the active phase of the disease.
Treatment of the disease
All of the above allows you to perfectly imagine if CMV is found in the body - what it is.
The treatment depends entirely on the state of health. Thus, doctors consider:
- Individuals with strong immunity do not need treatment.
- People who have weakened health, it is vital to deal with pathology.
Fully cured of CMV is impossible. A person who has had an infection once remains a virus carrier forever.
Independently select drugs to combat pathology is strictly prohibited. Each patient has a purely individual disease. The complex of necessary medicines is selected on the basis of analyzes of the patient.
Drug therapy combines two areas:
- Maximum destruction of the virus.
- Supporting the immune system and stimulating its protective functions.
The following antiviral drugs are used to combat CMV:
These drugs are toxic. In addition, they have contraindications and often lead to unpleasant side effects. Self-treatment of the above means is strictly prohibited. Wrong choice of medication can lead to a completely opposite effect. The immune system will not cope with this additional load. As a result, it will be even more vulnerable to the virus.
The doctor may prescribe immunoglobulins for some patients. These are medicines that are made from human blood. They contain antibodies that can resist infection. Such drugs are administered intravenously. Manipulation takes place under the obligatory control of a health worker. In addition, each injection is carried out according to the schedule drawn up by the doctor.
This method today is quite effective. However, a complete picture of the effects of these drugs on the body has not yet been studied. Therefore, before the injections are prescribed, the patient is recommended to undergo a full examination.
Immunoglobulin treatment is contraindicated in the following conditions:
- the tendency to allergic reactions;
- pregnancy, breastfeeding;
- kidney disease.
In addition, these drugs can cause unwanted reactions:
- the occurrence of shortness of breath;
- urination problems;
- symptoms of colds, viral pathologies;
- sharp weight gain;
- nausea, vomiting;
- pain in the eyes in bright light.
If there are such symptoms, the doctor will immediately adjust the treatment.
Infants are prescribed specific and non-specific immunoglobulins to combat congenital abnormalities:
Acyclovir, Ganciclovir, Foscarnet are used extremely rarely by antiviral medications. Since such agents are very toxic to the infant.
Immunomodulators are included in the therapy:
Their action is aimed at enhancing the newborn's own immunity.
Symptomatic treatment plays an important role. In other words, in case of hyperthermia, antipyretics are prescribed for the baby. If the crumbs have convulsions, then anticonvulsant medications are included in the treatment.
The most important measure to avoid infection with CMV, doctors consider safe sex if the partner is not permanent.
In addition, it is recommended to avoid kissing with those individuals who have the symptoms of any viral infection. This may be weakness, sore throat, fever, runny nose.
It is especially important to adhere to this recommendation for pregnant women. After all, they are responsible for the future baby. Therefore, should be as careful as possible.
All of the above recommendations will help avoid infection. But if a disease has occurred, what helps to cope with the pathology? Of course, this is a strong immunity.
Therefore, it is necessary to direct all your strength to health promotion. In this case, prevention is in methods known since childhood:
- hardening of the body;
- proper nutrition enriched with vitamins;
- playing sports;
CMV is a large and clumsy virus - a representative of herpes. It specifically affects the cell, filling it with cytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusions. There are no treatment regimens for getting rid of it. Therapy is purely individual and depends on the human body. Or rather from his immune system. Therefore, the most important recommendation is proper lifestyle and health promotion.