What causes cytomegalovirus?
Cytomegaly is a difficult-to-diagnose disease caused by a common virus: cytomegalovirus (CMV), a type of herpes, similar to the one responsible for herpes. Infection occurs through close contact. The virus is also transmitted through blood, saliva and other secretions.
Because of the ease of infection, the cytomegalovirus explores nurseries, kindergartens and schoolsoften goes from one child to another. Most of us get infected in early school age. Cytomegalovirus may also affect immunocompromised adults.
Cytomegalovirus has symptoms similar to those seen when it passes light flu. Occur muscle aches, general weakness, fever, swollen lymph nodes. Other characteristic symptoms that may or may not be include: sore throat, diarrhea, nausea, fever, rash, lymphadenitis. The disease can also be asymptomatic, especially if it attacks not the first time, but again. Because of this, its diagnosis is difficult and the cause of the disease is not always clearly identified.
The incubation period of cytomegalovirus lasts from three weeks to three months. After passing the infection, the virus still remains in the body, but in an inactive form. A second attack can occur during weakened immunity. Healthy and strong people, however, do not have to be afraid of the effects of the disease, which runs like a cold / flu. The situation is worse for newborns, infants and pregnant women bearing a developing baby.
Why is the virus so dangerous?
There is no kidding with pregnancy during pregnancy, mainly because the virus attacks immature cells, i.e. the cells of the fetus. It can get straight through through the placenta or genital tract (in this case, white vaginal discharge and worse cytology results may indicate his presence). What effects cytomegalovirus will produce depends on the period of infection and its extent.
In the first trimester, the virus often leads to miscarriage. At a more advanced stage of pregnancy, it can cause intrauterine brain damage. In 13% of women who undergo cytomegalovirus during pregnancy, children are born with epilepsy or developmental disorders.
At the end of pregnancy you have to reckon with accelerated delivery and its effects: jaundice and pneumonia.
The problem is also infection of the child during childbirthwhich is much more common than during pregnancy. It applies to 10% of all illness cases. In 90% of cases, children eliminate the virus or the symptoms of the disease manifest themselves later. The risk is all the greater the shorter the pregnancy lasts and increases for born children with too low a weight.
Breastfeeding is another point of infection. It is estimated that during this period the disease is transmitted to 40-60% of newborns, however, it is usually asymptomatic and is harmless to the baby in the course.
Congenital cytomegaly symptoms
Congenital cytomegaly is much more dangerous than a disease that can be infected newborn or infant. It causes: delayed intrauterine growth, jaundice, enlarged liver / spleen, pneumonia, thrombocytopenia, pneumonia, retinitis, choroid, optic atrophy and even deafness. Sometimes it develops general infectionwhich can be fatal. 20-30% of newborns with congenital cytomegalovirus die, others develop congenital mental disorder.
When a woman undergoes toxoplasmosis before pregnancy, there is no risk that she will become infected again during the 9 months important for the child's development. However, in the case of cytomegalovirus there is no longer such a guarantee.
In addition, the most dangerous for fetal development is first infection. If it happens during pregnancy, you have to take into account the unpleasant consequences. However, it is not very possible to protect against them because of the virus there is neither vaccine nor effective medicine. The only way to fight is to prevent cytomegalovirus.
How to recognize the disease?
There is no cytomegalovirus study in the NFZ basic package. A pregnant woman can ask for it on her own or finance the examination privately. This is important because early detection of the disease allows you to minimize any negative effects arising during its development.
However, diagnostics alone is not easy, to identify the virus it is necessary to repeat the test several times at intervals of two weeks. This can be done in two ways: blood tests (Gg and igM, checking for the presence of the virus and whether the woman has had a disease in the past) or urine tests.
Cytomegalovirus research is particularly valid in the third trimester. In this way, finding out about the asymptomatic development of the disease, you can take precautions during childbirth. Cytomegalovirus infants are prescribed a drug that inhibits the reproduction of the virus and avoids inflammatory changes in the brain and eyeball. Unfortunately, the drug has quite a few side effects and requires a two-week hospital stay. Other forms of the disease, including cytomegaly of the nervous system, require special observation until the child turns one year old. If doctors are dealing with a severe case, so-called immune serum is used, which allows the fetus to be saved.
How to counteract the disease?
If you are pregnant, you should take special care to: