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published: 10 Aug 2012 last updated: 29 Jun 2020
Human betaherpesvirus 5
|Species||Human betaherpesvirus 5|
- Human Herpesvirus-5
- Human cytomegalovirus
Although they may be found throughout the body, HCMV infections are frequently associated with the salivary glands.
HCMV is found throughout all geographic locations and socioeconomic groups, and infects between 50% and 80% of adults in the United States (40% worldwide) as indicated by the presence of antibodies in much of the general population.
Most healthy people who are infected by HCMV after birth have no symptoms. Some develop a syndrome similar to infectious mononucleosis or glandular fever, with prolonged fever, and a mild hepatitis. A sore throat is common. After infection, the virus remains latent in the body for the rest of the person's life. Overt disease rarely occurs unless immunity is suppressed either by drugs, infection or old age. Initial HCMV infection, which often is asymptomatic, is followed by a prolonged, inapparent infection during which the virus resides in mononuclear cells without causing detectable damage or clinical illness.