What is Epstein Barr Virus?
Epstein Barr is a virus that belongs to the herpes family. It infects the salivary gland cells and a white blood cell called a leukocyte. Epstein Barr virus is the major cause of infectious mononucleosis.
What are the symptoms of EBV?
Typical symptoms include a sore throat, fever, swollen lymph glands and fatigue. There may be other symptoms like a viral rash, headache, light sensitivity, respiratory symptoms, body aches, nausea and liver and spleen enlargement.
What are the complications of Epstein Barr virus?
EBV facts show that complications of this illness, although rare, can be potentially life threatening. Complications include a ruptured spleen, anaemia, reduced platelets, neurological disorders, CFS and secondary infections and inflammation like pneumonia, meningitis and pericarditis.
Epstein Barr virus has also been linked to Burkitt's lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and MS although more research is needed to see how these conditions are triggered.
Who gets Epstein Barr virus?
EBV facts and records show that the virus infects up to about 50% of children before the age of five. In young children the infection is usually mild and asymptomatic. The virus is common in teenagers and young adults. Most people have had the infection by age 40.
What is the incubation period of Epstein Barr virus?
Incubation is about 30-50 days although this can be shorter in children.
How long does Epstein Barr virus last?
EBV facts reveal that in the majority of cases the infection is mild and short-lived, lasting only a week or two. In some people the virus can relapse and has been known to recur for weeks or months.
How is the virus spread?
The virus is spread mainly through saliva through kissing or the sharing of drinks, lipsticks, eating utensils, towels etc. EBV facts and stats show that only about 5% of people acquire the virus from someone who has an acute infection. The bulk of the virus is spread by carriers who shed the virus intermittently even though they may not exhibit symptoms.
What is the medical treatment for this illness?
Most doctors recommend rest and fluids to treat the virus. Some doctors may prescribe pain killers, antibiotics (if there is a secondary infection) and corticosteroids if there is severe inflammation.
What are the natural treatments for EBV?
Natural treatments are based on boosting immunity, repairing the adrenal glands and cleansing the liver. Some of the more popular remedies include nutrients, herbs, anti-inflammatory foods, homeopathics, essential oils and therapies like acupuncture, stress management and graded exercise.