In the rare cases in which CMV causes a healthy person to become very sick, the infection may cause the following complications:

  • CMV mononucleosis. This syndrome resembles infectious mononucleosis, but the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) causes classic mononucleosis. If you have signs and symptoms that resemble mononucleosis — a sore throat, swollen glands and tonsils, fatigue, and nausea — your doctor will test you for the antibody your body makes to fight off EBV. If it's absent, there's a chance CMV is causing your symptoms.
  • Intestinal complications. CMV infection in your intestines can result in diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain; inflammation of your colon; and blood in your stool.
  • Liver complications. CMV can cause abnormal functioning of your liver and an unexplained fever.
  • Nervous system complications. A variety of neurological complications have been reported as a result of CMV infection in the nervous system. These may include inflammation of your brain (encephalitis).
  • Lung complications. CMV can cause inflammation of your lung tissue (pneumonitis).

Complications arising from newborn CMV infection

Newborns with CMV can experience:

  • Hearing loss
  • Eye abnormalities, including central vision loss, scarring of the retina, an inflammation of the light-sensing layer of the eye (retinitis), and swelling and irritation of the eye (uveitis)
  • Mental disability
  • Lack of coordination
  • Small head
  • Seizures
  • Death
Apr. 04, 2014

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