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Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) is a member of the herpes virus family, named human herpesvirus 4. According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) most people will become infected with Epstein Barr Virus at some point during their life. Ninety-five percent (95%) of the population will be infected by the disease usually before turning 18 years old. If contracted as a childhood illness there are no distinguishments from routine childhood disease.

Contracting Epstein Barr Virus

The most common way to pass the disease is through saliva. This contagion method gave mononucleosis (mono) the reputation of being a kissing disease, but sharing a cup, eating utensil, food, cigarette, or anything that encounters saliva can pass the disease.
The most common way to pass the disease is through saliva. This contagion method gave mononucleosis (mono) the reputation of being a kissing disease, but sharing a cup, eating utensil, food, cigarette, or anything that encounters saliva can pass the disease.
Teens and adults who contract Epstein Barr Virus usually have more severe symptoms than children. Fever, rash, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes (in the neck), enlarged spleen, swollen liver and inflamed throat/tonsils are symptoms that plagued patients. The illness typically resolves itself within a month but is contagious until it solves. Afterwards the virus remains in the body and typically becomes dormant.
Epstein Barr Virus Treatment at sunridge medicalIf infected with the virus, Epstein Barr remains in the body and typically becomes inactive or dormant. However, the virus may reactivate, not cause any symptoms or it can continue to be reactionary with relapsing and remitting symptoms throughout someone’s lifetime. Reactivated symptoms of EBV are more likely to occur in those who have a compromised immune system.

Found all over the world, the virus is spread through saliva or other bodily fluids including semen, blood transfusions, and from organ transplants. EBV can cause infectious mononucleosis, also called mono (the kissing disease), glandular fever, chronic fatigue, other illnesses and most recently has been connected to long-haul Covid.

Chronic Active Epstein Barr Virus

Chronic active Epstein Barr Virus (CAEBV) is a complication of Epstein Barr Virus most often diagnosed by DNA tests that show elevated levels of EBV over a period of three of more months. Patients may suffer with fever, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged spleen, enlarged liver or liver failure, anemia, and pneumonia. These issues can be intermittent or constant and often become more severe with time.
If Chronic Epstein Barr is not treated, many patients experience opportunistic infections and develop progressive immunodeficiencies. Patients may develop diseases that involve B cells, T cells and NK (natural killer) cells. EBV can progress into chemotherapy-resistant lymphoma or hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a terminal disorder where the immune system damages and eventually destroys the liver, brain and bone marrow.

Symptoms of Epstein-Barr Virus

There are several antibody lab tests that are available to determine if a person has or had a past infection or a current/recent infection with EBV. Sunridge offers antibody tests that determine if a patient has previously experienced EBV or has a current infection. Additional tests are available to check for Chronic Active Epstein Barr Virus. We offer treatments and therapy for address the effects of the virus and repair damage it can wreak on tissues, organs, and overall wellness. Contact Us Today to start on your healing journey.

For answers to your questions or to make an appointment, call us toll-free at 1-800-923-7878 to speak with our Patient Care Team.


About Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2015;
Aronson MD, Auwaerter PG. Infectious mononucleosis. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate; Updated May 28, 2019;
Clinicopathological study of severe chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection that developed in association with lymphoproliferative disorder and/or hemophagocytic syndrome. Ohshima K, Suzumiya J, Sugihara M, Nagafuchi S, Ohga S, Kikuchi M. Pathol Int. 1998 Dec;48(12):934-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1827.1998.tb03864.x. PMID: 9952337.
Kimura H, Cohen JI. Chronic Active Epstein-Barr Virus Disease. Front Immunol. December 22, 2017; 8:1867:
Loebel M, Eckey M, Sotzny F et al. Serological profiling of the EBV immune response in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome using a peptide microarray. PLoS ONE. 12(6):e0179124.
Arai A. Advances in the Study of Chronic Active Epstein-Barr Virus Infection: Clinical Features Under the 2016 WHO Classification and Mechanisms of Development. Front Pediatr. 2019 Feb 5;7:14. doi: 10.3389/fped.2019.00014. PMID: 30805320; PMCID: PMC6370717.
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