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- Member of Betaherpesviridae, double-stranded DNA virus; 60-100% seroprevalence.
- Most infections asymptomatic, viral replication and shedding without symptoms. Severe disease seen in HIV CD4 < 50.
- Transmitted vertically, sexually or by close contact (family members, daycare) via blood, tears, saliva, breast milk, urine, cervical secretions and semen.
- Establishes permanent latent infection in host.
- Most cases in immunosuppressed adults due to reactivation.