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Concerning CMV

May 17, 1999

Dr. Holodniy, My father has recently been told that due to his low immune system, he has CMV. I am not aware of what this virus is nor how they plan on treating it. He has several other health issues that has made this virus appear. He is a non HIV person. Can you tell me the full name of this infection along with a little history of what it is and how it can be treated in adults with other health issues? Thank you for your time.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

CMV, or cytomegalovirus, is a cousin of herpes virus. Almost all of us are exposed to this virus as small children. Although we contain the acute infection, the virus lives within us in a dormant state. It only causes infection problems when our immune system is damaged by HIV, cancer, immunosuppressive drugs, etc. It can affect the eyes or other organs like the liver, lungs or GI tract. It can be treated with drugs like gancyclovir, cidofovir, or foscarnet. MH

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