You are likely part of the 90% of the population who has contracted Epstein Barr virus (EBV), even if you didn’t know you had it. Discovered in 1964, EBV is often associated with infectious disease, also known as mononucleosis or mono. Recent research shows there may be a connection between EBV and autoimmune disorders too.
In the United States, 66% of youth between 6 and 19 have had the Epstein Barr virus. Those between 18 and 19 had the highest prevalence, with 82.9% experiencing EBV. The second highest prevalence is among 6 to 8-year-olds, at 54%.
What is Epstein Barr Virus?
EBV is a member of the herpesvirus family, which consists of more than 100 herpes viruses. Only eight infect humans, however. Epstein Barr virus is not the same herpes virus as a sexually transmitted disease. Herpesviruses fall into various types, like the following:
Type 1 Herpes Simplex Virus (causes painful, small blisters filled with fluid on eyes, lips, mouth, and genitals and is very contagious).
Type 2 Herpes Simplex Virus (causes painful, small blisters filled with fluid on eyes, lips, mouth, and genitals and is very contagious).
Type 3 Varicella-zoster Virus (causes shingles and chickenpox and can also be very painful).
Type 4 Epstein Barr Virus (infectious mononucleosis is highly contagious and may link to some cancers).
Type 5 Cytomegalovirus occurs in newborns and people with weak immune systems.
Type 6 Roseola Infantum, an infection in children.
Type 7 Roseola Infantum, as above.
Type 8 Kaposi Sarcoma causes some cancers, especially in people with a weak immune system.
How Do People Get Epstein Barr Virus?
EBV is contagious and spreads quickly when an infected person’s bodily fluids encounter another person’s bodily fluids, such as saliva, blood, semen, mucus, etc. Examples of how it spreads are below:
- Sharing utensils
- Sharing toothbrushes
- Sharing drinks
- Having sex
- Contacting blood
How Do I Know If I Have Epstein Barr Virus?
For some, symptoms may begin soon after contracting EBV. For others, symptoms may not appear for weeks or months. There are even some people, primarily children, who will have EBV but never have symptoms.
Also, symptoms can range from mild to severe. Knowing which signs to look for for an accurate diagnosis and treatment is essential. If you have any of the following, seek treatment right away:
- Sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Enlarged spleen
- Enlarged liver
- Enlarged tonsils
- Skin rash
- Body aches
- Pain in the eye
As you can see, these symptoms are common among many diseases and disorders. Lyme disease, the flu, bronchitis, encephalitis, sinusitis, lupus, sepsis, COVID, and many other viral and bacterial infections.
Some doctors misdiagnose patients due to these similarities. They may choose to treat the individual symptoms rather than seek the source. This can lead to a relapse and chronic symptoms, leading to more significant health problems. For example, an enlarged spleen may eventually rupture.
The best way to ensure a correct diagnosis and treatment is by seeking help from an infectious diseases specialist.
What Is an Infectious Diseases Specialist?
An infectious diseases specialist is a board-certified physician treating bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections. They have the most up-to-date information, treatments, and equipment to help you overcome disease. They analyze your symptoms using advanced methods that your general practitioner cannot access.
Here is a list of characteristics you should look for when searching for a specialist:
- Medical school degree
- Specialty training
- Board certification
- Advanced equipment to perform tests and treatments
- Participation in international associations
- Recommendations from previous patients
- Continual research and training
Don’t limit your search for a specialist to your local area or even the United States.
The right specialist will use modern testing, including live blood analysis, cerebral spinal fluid extraction and analysis, and advanced microscopy.
What Are the Treatments for Epstein Barr Virus?
Treating EBV depends on the stage of the virus. Research shows EBV has at least four stages of infection. Stage one involves the pathogens entering your bloodstream. For weeks or months, it only has one purpose, to replicate and spread through the body.
In stage two, EBV becomes active and triggers your immune system. In this stage, you will be diagnosed with mononucleosis. Also, the virus will try to move into major organs like the liver or spleen, where it can go dormant and hide out for a while.
Stage three is when EBV is living in a major organ and starts to play tricks on your immune system. Some pathogens will hide for months or years, while others immediately begin feeding on toxins in the body, causing many symptoms.
In stage four, bacteria release neurotoxins that attack your nervous system and cause inflammation, leading to chronic, painful symptoms.
Treatment plans will vary depending on the stage and comprehensive assessment results. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following:
- Intravenous antibiotics
IV antibiotics are administered directly into your bloodstream to attack bacteria and fight infections.
- IV High dose of vitamin C
Many people with infections such as EBV are deficient in vitamin C, a nutrient derived from outside sources, since the body does not make it on its own.
- Low-dose immunotherapy
Low-dose antigens from immunotherapy help your body’s immune system become less excitable and more controlled.
- Anti-viral protocols
Anti-viral protocols prevent viral replication in your bloodstream.
- Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (IVIG)
IVIG involves taking antibodies from healthy donor plasma and putting them into your blood to improve immune function.
Plasmapheresis removes toxins, heavy metals, and other substances that the body cannot remove by itself.
- Therapeutic apheresis
Apheresis is exchanging infected, unhealthy blood for clean, healthy donor blood that has been screened and found to be disease-free.
The most important reason to seek a specialist is that they collaborate with the world’s top research institutions and, if needed, can send your blood for more extensive testing.
Your health is a priority to the right specialist, like doctors at Lyme Mexico. Call today for a phone consultation on eliminating viruses like EBV from your body.