Occupational risk of cytomegalovirus

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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is common throughout the world, and in healthy individuals it rarely causes serious illness. However, congenital CMV is an important cause of disability and we estimate that currently in the United Kingdom about 250 infants a year are born with CMV-related damage. Many women work during pregnancy and it is possible that some pregnant women acquire infection in the workplace. Studies carried out in the USA have concluded that day-care staff looking after young children are at occupational risk of acquiring CMV infection. There is conflicting evidence about health workers and occupational risk. This review outlines the main modes of transmission of CMV infection and considers the evidence for occupational risk.

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