A member of the herpes family, cytomegalovirus is the most common kind of viral infection passed on to babies at the time of birth. In fact, nearly one percent of all babies are infected with cytomegalovirus when they are born.
This common viral infection affects not just newborns but also individuals of all ages and both sexes. Most people who have contracted cytomegalovirus infection remain oblivious to this fact, because of its asymptomatic nature.
An Insight Into Cytomegalovirus
Cytomegalovirus better known as CMV infects almost every person in his or her lifetime. Healthy individuals who have a strong immune system will not exhibit the symptoms of cytomegalovirus infection.
On the other hand, individuals who have weakened immune system may develop a host of signs and symptoms which are commonly associated with this particular viral infection.
Cytomegalovirus also known as CMV is a viral infection which is transmitted in two ways. When an individual comes in direct contact with the bodily fluids (saliva, semen, urine, breast milk) of a person infected with cytomegalovirus, he or she can contract this disease. This virus can also be transmitted indirectly from person to person by the airborne route.
Ways To Avoid Cytomegalovirus During Pregnancy
There are numerous measures a pregnant woman can adopt to prevent contracting this viral infection and passing it on to the unborn fetus. Nearly fifteen percent of all children born with this viral condition may develop numerous health problems later on in their life.
So, a pregnant woman should exercise great caution to avoid catching this infection. Listed below are some beneficial measures which can help to avoid cytomegalovirus infection during pregnancy.
Wash Hands Frequently
As mentioned earlier one way that cytomegalovirus is transmitted from person to person is through direct physical contact. A pregnant woman should wash her hands frequently especially if she has come in contact with the bodily fluids of another individual.
Washing ones hands with a medicated / antiseptic soap or hand wash can help to cut down the risk of contracting this viral infection.
Hands should be washed thoroughly and not in a perfunctory manner. Good hand washing practices includes using a good amount of soap, rubbing the hands together vigorously to create friction and rinsing under luke-warm running water.
Keep Separate Utensils
No amount of caution is too little especially when you are pregnant. To avoid contracting cytomegalovirus, a pregnant woman should keep separate utensils for eating food and drinking water.
A pregnant woman should never share her plate or glass with other members of the family especially with small children who have this condition. After usage, the plate and glass should be washed thoroughly and kept separately.
If you fear that vessels may get mixed up inadvertently, make it a point to use disposable plates and glasses.
Wear Rubber Gloves
If you have to care for other young children in the house, make it a point to wear a pair of thick rubber gloves especially when changing diapers. Touching the urine or feces of an infected child can increase the risk of infection.
To cut down the chances of contracting this illness still further, a pregnant woman should enlist the help of other members of the family to change a toddler’s diaper. The rubber gloves should be washed frequently. Ideally pregnant women should wear disposable gloves when handling soiled diapers.
Avoid Direct Contact With Bodily Fluids
Pregnant women should avoid coming in direct contact with bodily fluids like tears and / or saliva. This virus can also be transmitted when a pregnant woman wipes the tears of an infected person and later touches her own eyes or mouth.
So, reduce contact with another person’s bodily fluids to the minimum.
Exercise Caution When Engaging In Sex
Pregnant women should exercise a great deal of caution when they engage in unprotected sex. Having sexual intercourse with a man who suffers from cytomegalovirus infection puts a pregnant woman in the high risk category for contracting this illness.
Pregnant women should desist from engaging in oral / anal sex with an infected partner to reduce the chances of contracting cytomegalovirus infection.
Avoid Crowded Places
If you want to avoid contracting this viral disease, make it a point to avoid crowded places. Since cytomegalovirus can be transmitted by the airborne route as well, pregnant women should exercise great caution when they interact with other individuals in a closed space.
Pregnant women should stay away from over crowded places to further reduce their risk of contracting this viral infection.
Approach A Doctor
Pregnant women who are in need of blood transfusion, should request their doctor to screen the donor’s blood for CMV before proceeding with the transfusion.