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People Who Care for Infants and Children

Español: Personas que cuidan bebés y niños

Handwashing

Persons who work with children should follow standard handwashing procedures after contact with body fluids, such as urine and saliva, that could contain CMV.

Over half of adults have already been infected with CMV by the age of 40 years. Adults who have not had CMV and who work with young children, especially children 1 to 2 ½ years of age, may be exposed to CMV and can become infected.

Healthy adults face little risk of getting seriously sick from CMV infection. However, if a woman who has never had CMV infection becomes infected with CMV while pregnant, there is a risk that her fetus will also become infected. Infants born with CMV infection are at risk for CMV-related complications.

Persons who work closely with children in settings, such as child care facilities, may be at greater risk of CMV infection than persons who do not work in such settings. There are certain steps everyone can take to reduce their risk of exposure to CMV and other infection. See Prevention.

Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant and who have close contact with young children should discuss their risk for CMV infection with their medical provider. Also see Pregnant Women.

Although CMV is spread through contact with infected body fluids, including urine and saliva, the risk of CMV infection among healthcare workers appears to be no greater than that among the general public. This may be due in part to adherence to standard precautions by healthcare providers when handling body fluids and the lower amount of personal contact in the healthcare setting.

To learn more about how CMV is spread, see Transmission.

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