The virus you don't know you're infected by


The Epstein Barr Virus infects 95% of adults around the world. But many have never even heard of it, let alone know that they have it.

Most people contract EBV in childhood and carry it around for life without it causing any harm. But it can be dangerous, if not deadly for others.

EBV is a virus of the herpes family and is the cause of glandular fever. It is also thought to cause up to 200,000 cancers each year worldwide, and has been linked to the onset of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) and Hashimoto’s.

How does it affect you?

Just like the cold sore virus, once you’ve got EBV, you’ve got it for life. But many people don’t realise they have been infected because they never feel sick.

For those that do feel the effects of EBV, it often manifests itself as the ‘kissing disease’ or mononucleosis. This is common in teenagers and usually has them laid up for weeks, sometimes months before the fatigue lifts and they begin to feel normal again. Symptoms include swollen glands, sore throat, painful swallowing, eye welling, rash and more.

Post-viral fatigue from EBV rarely persists beyond six months, but when it does, it is often mistaken for chronic fatigue syndrome – which is a much more serious condition. While the two are not the same, infections from viruses such as EBV can leave you susceptible to chronic fatigue syndrome.

What to do if you suspect you have an active EBV

The only way to know for sure if an EBV infection is the cause of fatigue is to get tested.

If you are diagnosed with glandular fever or post-viral fatigue from EBV, natural therapies work well to reduce the long-term complications of these infections and get you feeling better as soon as possible. It is essential to act early and seek help at the first sign of symptoms. Your recovery from EBV or Glandular Fever depends very much on how quickly you are treated using some very strong but safe natural medicines.

If you are concerned you may be susceptible to illnesses associated with EBV, it is essential that you maintain a healthy, functioning immune system at all times.

Prevention is always better than cure, especially during times of increased stress such as HSC year, university students, starting a new job, etc.

To keep your immune system healthy, I recommend taking top quality echinacea every day. That may seem excessive to some, but echinacea was traditionally prescribed long-term to keep immune systems at their peak, as opposed to the intermittent way it is often recommended now. Vitamin C is another underrated nutrient which people are often deficient in, which can really help boost your immune system.

Having a healthy immune system won’t stop you catching the virus from someone else, however a healthy immune system will be more vigilant and respond to the virus more quickly and effectively. A lot of us will have the antibodies on blood tests to say that we have come in contact with the virus however we may never know when as our immune system dealt with the virus effectively and we may only have experienced mild symptoms.

Knowing that we have the virus in our system even if it is dormant is important though for the effects that it may cause down the track.

If you have any questions about EBV, please comment below and myself or one of our naturopaths will get back to you.


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