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Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) Message Board


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Old 04-08-2003, 07:04 AM   #1
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sprout HB User
Question EBV and CMV


I have a question pertaining to the dual diagnosis that I received in January of this year. I became very ill and after numerous tests the doctors presented me with the results. I have the Epstein Barr Virus and Cytomegalovirus. I understand that both of these are precursors to mononucleousis and that unlike mono...EBV and CMV are rare.

My test results came back with extremely high counts EBV number was 150+ and CMV number was 200+. I have been out of work since the beginning of January and I am still suffering the effects of these illnesses. I have glands that swell from time to time...usually in the throat and underarm area. I am physically exhausted to the point of getting dressed has become a task of monument proprotions. And I have a rather large lump in the lower pelvic region close to the groin where the leg joins the torso.

My question long is this going to last? I manage a hotel (at least I did before becoming ill) and I have been told that I cannot return to work until I have recovered fully due to the fact that my immune system has been severely impacted by these viruses. I know that I am highly susceptible to everything right now because my immune system is already overworked fighting off the current viruses. Coming into contact with hotel guests that have traveled the world is a serious concern. However, I am not independently wealthy and cannot be out of work indefinitely. Not to mention, I am not sure I will still be employed should this last much longer.

Any ideas?

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Old 04-11-2003, 07:51 AM   #2
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Here is some information about Epstein that will help you.

From the Center For Disease Control (CDC) [url=""][/url]

"Epstein-Barr virus, frequently referred to as EBV, is a member of the herpesvirus family and one of the most common human viruses. The virus occurs worldwide, and most people become infected with EBV sometime during their lives. In the United States, as many as 95% of adults between 35 and 40 years of age have been infected. Infants become susceptible to EBV as soon as maternal antibody protection (present at birth) disappears. Many children become infected with EBV, and these infections usually cause no symptoms or are indistinguishable from the other mild, brief illnesses of childhood. In the United States and in other developed countries, many persons are not infected with EBV in their childhood years. When infection with EBV occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, it causes infectious mononucleosis 35% to 50% of the time.

Symptoms of infectious mononucleosis are fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands. Sometimes, a swollen spleen or liver involvement may develop. Heart problems or involvement of the central nervous system occurs only rarely, and infectious mononucleosis is almost never fatal.

Although the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis usually resolve in 1 or 2 months, EBV remains dormant or latent in a few cells in the throat and blood for the rest of the person's life. Periodically, the virus can reactivate and is commonly found in the saliva of infected persons. This reactivation usually occurs without symptoms of illness.

EBV also establishes a lifelong dormant infection in soMost individuals exposed to people with infectious mononucleosis have previously been infected with EBV and are not at risk for infectious mononucleosis. In addition, transmission of EBV requires intimate contact with the saliva (found in the mouth) of an infected person. Transmission of this virus through the air or blood does not normally occur. The incubation period, or the time from infection to appearance of symptoms, ranges from 4 to 6 weeks. Persons with infectious mononucleosis may be able to spread the infection to others for a period of weeks. However, no special precautions or isolation procedures are recommended, since the virus is also found frequently in the saliva of healthy people. In fact, many healthy people can carry and spread the virus intermittently for life. These people are usually the primary reservoir for person-to-person transmission. For this reason, transmission of the virus is almost impossible to preventme cells of the body's immune system.

It is important to note that symptoms related to infectious mononucleosis caused by EBV infection seldom last for more than 4 months. When such an illness lasts more than 6 months, it is frequently called chronic EBV infection. However, valid laboratory evidence for continued active EBV infection is seldom found in these patients. The illness should be investigated further to determine if it meets the criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS. This process includes ruling out other causes of chronic illness or fatigueThe diagnosis of EBV infection is summarized as follows:

If antibodies to the viral capsid antigen are not detected, the patient is susceptible to EBV infection.

Primary Infection
Primary EBV infection is indicated if IgM antibody to the viral capsid antigen is present and antibody to EBV nuclear antigen, or EBNA, is absent. A rising or high IgG antibody to the viral capsid antigen and negative antibody to EBNA after at least 4 weeks of illness is also strongly suggestive of primary infection. In addition, 80% of patients with active EBV infection produce antibody to early antigen.

Past Infection
If antibodies to both the viral capsid antigen and EBNA are present, then past infection (from 4 to 6 months to years earlier) is indicated. Since 95% of adults have been infected with EBV, most adults will show antibodies to EBV from infection years earlier. High or elevated antibody levels may be present for years and are not diagnostic of recent infection.

In the presence of antibodies to EBNA, an elevation of antibodies to early antigen suggests reactivation. However, when EBV antibody to the early antigen test is present, this result does not automatically indicate that a patient's current medical condition is caused by EBV. A number of healthy people with no symptoms have antibodies to the EBV early antigen for years after their initial EBV infection. Many times reactivation occurs subclinically.

Chronic EBV Infection
Reliable laboratory evidence for continued active EBV infection is very seldom found in patients who have been ill for more than 4 months. When the illness lasts more than 6 months, it should be investigated to see if other causes of chronic illness or CFS are present."

I hope this information helps you, and I also hope that you start feeling better.


[This message has been edited by tonisuzette (edited 04-11-2003).]

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Old 04-11-2003, 12:41 PM   #3
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Thank you for replying. I notice that in my original post I stated that both EBV and CMV are rare. That was my error. I know that EBV is much more common and the information that you posted is consistent with what I have found on my own. My doctor is sure that I contracted these viruses from work, but since he cannot prove it conclusively...I am not eligible for worker's compensation.

With the CMV, I have found that all sources consider it to be rare. There are no time estimations as to how long it will take to recover. I know that both of these viruses have now brought on mononucleousis and I know that chronic fatigue syndrome is now a factor as well.

Perhaps there is nothing that anyone can tell me. I am just frustrated and sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. Make any sense?

Working on fourth month of being restricted to home,


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