Cytomegalovirus | Symptoms


What are the symptoms of CMV?

Usually, CMV does not cause symptoms or only causes mild symptoms. A few people will have symptoms that are similar to mononucleosis. Symptoms of CMV can include:

  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes (lymph glands)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite

Newborns who are infected with CMV in the womb can be very sick when they are born. Symptoms at birth can include:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
  • Low birth weight
  • Seizures
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Enlarged liver
  • Pneumonia

People who have weakened immune systems due to conditions like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or because they received an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medicines may have severe symptoms. (Immunosuppressant medicines are medicines that lower or suppress the immune system.) Symptoms of severe CMV include:

  • Blindness
  • Pneumonia
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding ulcers in the esophagus (windpipe) or intestines
  • Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
  • Seizures

CMV is more likey to cause vision problems in people who have weakened immune systems, so if you have conditions such as HIV or AIDS, your doctor may recommend that you visit an eye doctor to find out whether the virus has infected your eyes. Be sure to let your doctor know if you are having any painless blurring of your vision, "floaters" only in one eye, light flashes or areas of blindness. You should also let your doctor(s) know if you are experiencing frequent shortness of breath with flu-like symptoms, or if you are having problems hearing.


Cytomegalovirus by GH Taylor, M.D. (American Family Physician February 01, 2003,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 07/13
Created: 04/03