People with Weakened Immune Systems
CMV may cause severe and occasionally life-threatening disease in immunocompromised persons (meaning people with weakened immune systems), such as
- organ and bone marrow transplant recipients,
- cancer patients,
- patients receiving immunosuppressive drugs, and
- HIV-infected patients (see You Can Prevent CMV, A Guide for People with HIV Infection)
A primary (first) CMV infection can cause serious disease in immunocompromised persons. Once a person has had a CMV infection, the virus stays in their body for life. The virus stays dormant (inactive) most of the time, but it can reactivate (become active again) and cause illness. Reactivation of a previous CMV infection is a more common problem for persons with weakened immune systems than primary infection since the majority of people are infected with CMV by the time they are 40 years old.
Immunocompromised patients who are concerned about CMV should consult their physicians about the best ways to avoid problems from CMV infection.
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