Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common viral infection, especially among young children and can be spread through coughing, contact with blood, urine or faeces, or via the mucous membranes, such as the mouth and genitals.
According to the Department of Health, in Australia, about 50 per cent of young adults have been infected and approximately 85% of people would have been exposed by the time they are 40.
In healthy people, CMV infection will cause nothing more than flu-like symptoms which usually last for a few days, however in certain people with suppressed immunity, such as transplant patients and pregnant women, the effects can be much more serious.
If you are trying to fall pregnant or thinking of starting a family in the future, it’s important to check your CMV immunity checked to see if you have antibodies against the virus.
It is also important to practice good hygiene and take preventative steps such as washing hands often with soap and running water; especially after close contact with young children, changing nappies, blowing noses, feeding a young child, and handling children’s toys, dummies and soothers. Do not share food, drinks, eating utensils or toothbrushes with young children and avoid contact with saliva when kissing a child.