Most people who are infected with CMV have no signs or symptoms and suffer no harmful effects. That’s because a healthy person’s immune system usually keeps the virus from causing illness. However, CMV infection can cause serious health problems for people with weakened immune systems, as well as unborn babies of pregnant women who are infected with the virus.
Most babies born with congenital CMV will not show any signs of infection or suffer harmful effects. However, some babies born with congenital CMV infection may have some or all of these signs and symptoms at birth: failed hearing screening, low birth weight, small head size (microcephaly), jaundice (yellowing of the skin), seizures, lethargy (tiredness), enlargement of the liver and spleen, eye problems, brain imaging abnormalities, and rash. Children with congenital CMV infection are more likely to develop permanent disabilities in their first few years of life if they have symptoms of this infection at birth. These disabilities may include hearing loss, vision loss, mental disability, lack of coordination, seizures, and death (in rare cases). Some babies without symptoms of congenital CMV infection at birth may later develop hearing loss.