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What are neurological consequences of cytomegalovirus infection (CMV)?

The cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus found universally throughout the world. It infects between 50 to 80 percent of all adults in the United States by the age of 40. CMV belongs to the same family of viruses that includes herpes simplex types 1 and 2, and the viruses that cause infectious mononucleosis (EBV), chickenpox, and shingles. A hallmark of CMV is the reappearance of symptoms throughout life, as the virus cycles through periods of dormancy and active infection. Most people who acquire the virus as children or adults display no signs or have mild symptoms, and no long-term health consequences. Those who do have symptoms experience mononucleosis-like indications, such as a prolonged fever, fatigue, mild hepatitis, and tender lymph nodes. Severe forms of infection include CMV retinitis and encephalitis. Infected individuals periodically shed the virus in their body fluids, such as saliva, urine, blood, tears, semen, or breast milk. It is most commonly transmitted when an uninfected person comes in contact with the infected body fluids and then touches his or her mouth or nose, at which point the virus is absorbed into the mucous membranes.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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