What is Epstein-Barr Virus?

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is a human herpes virus 4 (HHV-4), one of the eight known herpes viruses. It is ancient and may have existed for 90-100 million years.4 It is one of the most common human viruses on our planet, with 95% or more of the global population carrying the antibodies to it.7 Most carriers do not have symptoms or reinfections. But some do, often with devastating, life-altering, and even life-threatening health consequences.

Chronic Active Epstein-Barr Virus (CAEBV) can be expected in “chronic illness, which cannot be explained by other disease processes at diagnosis.” 10

How Dangerous is EBV?

When EBV-infected B-cells proceed unimpeded, they acquire oncogenic mutations and become neoplastic, setting the stage for cancer development. That is why EBV is considered an oncogenic (can cause tumors) virus. As such, it has been well established as a cause of many types of cancer (e.g., stomach cancer); now researchers are also looking into connections to breast and colorectal cancer. EBV is the only virus that citrullinates amino acid arginine, which triggers autoimmune processes. It is very well documented that EBV can trigger Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Sjogren’s, Crohn’s, and Ulcerative Colitis, among a long laundry list of other conditions. Citrullinated antibodies called viral citrullinated peptides (VCP2) are already part of early warning or diagnosis for Rheumatoid Arthritis.9 Chronic EBV can also cause various inflammatory conditions, including those of the brain such as Encephalitis, Meningitis, Cerebelitis, Cerebellar Ataxia, and more. The list is alarmingly long. In short, EBV is a very dangerous virus.

Chronic and Severe Chronic Active Epstein-Barr infections should be considered in “idiopathic” medical conditions (those that cannot be explained) 4

Eligio, et al., 2010

Why is Misdiagnosis Very Common?

Because positive blood test results are so common, medical doctors are reluctant to test for EBV—in the end, most people will show positive antibodies. How useful is a test then? Testing of ALL the appropriate antibodies and interpreting the test results are often NOT done correctly. This is mostly due to an obsolete assumption of what is considered active or reactivated EBV infection. As a result, even when a patient is tested, the physician’s decision that there is only a sign of past infection may be and often is incorrect. I see this all too often in my clinical practice.

The result of this pattern is devastating: this population of patients continues suffering from debilitating medical conditions and continues to deteriorate. I have seen chronic EBV lead to disability and loss of one’s ability to carry on a job or a profession, and even eventually lead to death from complications.

Could you have Chronic Active Epstein-Barr Virus infection?


The Most Acknowledged Face of EBV

What EBV is mostly known as is mono (Infectious Mononucleosis). This is the diagnosable medical condition that is recognized by the medical community. In fact, if a person is tested for EBV during the mono infection (which is considered the initial EBV infection) and the test result is positive, the physician will tell the patient that nothing can be done and the patient just needs to go home and rest, and the mono will eventually end. Theoretically, mono should be self-limiting (ultimately resolving without need for treatment). While for many it is, for some it is the door to a perpetual string of chronic medical complications.

The Secret Life of EBV: Infection Mononucleosis Goes Chronic

Most people know someone who has had mono—perhaps during college years or adolescence. The symptoms of mono can include sore throat, pharyngitis, cervical lymph node enlargement, fever, significant fatigue, myalgia (muscle pain), and even vomiting. Some individuals may become temporarily bed ridden, literally feeling fatigue too overwhelming that they cannot leave the bed.

Mono can have many complications, the most common being a ruptured spleen, followed by trouble breathing due to a swollen throat and, more rarely, jaundice, pancreatitis, rashes, seizures, and/or encephalitis and even acute hepatitis (self-limiting).

As you can see, even mono is quite grave. It is supposed to last about six weeks. Unfortunately, while for some people mono will end as expected, there is a sub-population that may develop what has been called “chronic mononucleosis syndrome,” which the medical community knows nothing about!

It can occur long term, which includes typical symptoms of weakness, aching legs, low-grade fever (sometimes also intermittent), and depression as well as headaches, myalgia (muscle pain), persistent fatigue, lymphadenopathy (a disease affecting lymph nodes), and a prolonged recovery period that takes more than the typical month plus.

The tragedy of the current standard of care in medical practice is that while mono is recognized, it is not well known that most of EBV’s activity lies not in mono but in chronic reinfections. These eventually lead to the complicated medical conditions and even cancer that I mentioned before.

In fact, researchers now refer to this as Chronic Active Epstein-Barr Virus Infection (CAEBV), and even Severe Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus Infection (SAEBV).

In this scenario, I do not understand why the current explanation of autoimmunity refers to its “unknown causes” and explains that autoimmune disorders mean that “the immune system becomes confused and attacks itself,” when there is ample evidence in medical literature indicating that the immune system is fighting a pathogen, which in some cases is the EBV, and not “its own.”

If a patient is lucky to be diagnosed with chronic or reactivated EBV infection, the only current standard of care is antiviral medications. Again, all you need to do is check medical literature to see that medications have limited efficacy, while there is an abundance of research for formidable, natural, nutrient-based antivirals. I have followed that path meticulously over the last few years, and we are now able to help many calm down the autoimmune signaling, regain functionality, and recover their lives.

Could you have Chronic Active Epstein-Barr Virus infection?


The Inaccuracy of Concept of Auto-Immunity

Within the EBV contest, I do not agree with the current explanation of autoimmunity as “unknown causes” and “the immune system becoming confused and attacking itself” simply because there is ample evidence in medical literature (and in my clinical experience) indicating that the immune system is fighting a pathogen (EBV), and not “its own.” By working to eradicate EBV, it is possible to calm down the auto-immunity.

“Viral infection, including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), is one of the most frequently considered environmental factors involved in autoimmunity7

Janegova, et al., 2015

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