What is the older brother virus

What is the older brother virus

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Sandra was three months pregnant. He caught a cold. A simple cold. It must have been infected by one of his two sons: Javi, three and a half years old, and Pablo, two years old. The gynecologist did not give it the greatest importance. The pregnancy was normal, until her son was born.

Gonzalo was apparently a normal newborn. But on the fifth day of birth, the doctors wrote Sandra a report with a terrible diagnosis: her son had cerebral palsy. The cause? Cytomegalovirus (CMV), known colloquially as 'elder brother virus'.

Sandra's case is not unique. It is calculated that the 'Big Brother Virus' affects 1 in 150 children newly born. The virus, from the herpes family, is called exactly cytomegalovirus (CMV). It is not a problematic virus, unless it affects a pregnant woman in the first trimester of pregnancy. In that case, it can have dire consequences for the baby. Among other things, you have a high chance of being born with cerebral palsy and deafness. It can also cause blindness, physical and mental disability, and even death.

But... Why is it called the elder brother virus? Because normally the pregnant woman is contagious through a small child. A simple cold can be the apparently 'harmless' symptom that transmits the fatal virus.

This virus is hardly talked about, and yet it is the cause of more disabilities among newborns than Down syndrome, spina bifida or fetal alcohol syndrome. Sometimes it takes time to diagnose, as many of these children are born without symptoms. Little by little, little or no increase in head circumference, deafness and psychomotor retardation are observed in them.

Not all babies are affected equally. It all depends on when the pregnant woman is infected. As it is a virus that affects brain development, if the baby is in the first trimester of gestation, the damage can be severe. If instead the virus arrives in the last trimester, the baby's brain has already developed enough and the virus can pass without leaving great consequences.

But what can the pregnant woman do to prevent contagion? The virus is contracted through saliva, tears, blood, mucus ... And the main transmitter is usually a small child between 1 and 3 years old. Therefore it can be prevented in this way:

- Wash your hands very well after changing the diaper.

- Wash hands well after blowing snot to a child. Throw away the used tissue immediately.

- Do not share the little boy's cutlery. Neither is a napkin.

- Avoid kisses on the mouth with the young child.

Please note that for this virus there is no vaccine yet. The only way to avoid it is through prevention.

You can read more articles similar to What is the older brother virus, in the category of Diseases - annoyances on site.

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