Epstein-Barr (EBV) is a common virus that causes mononucleosis and plays a part in two rare cancer forms known as nasopharyngeal carcinoma and Burkitt’s lymphoma. Epstein barr syndrome is a herpes virus that affects almost everyone at least once during their lifetime. This condition is named after the scientists that identified it in the 1960s. The virus enters the lymph nodes and meets with the white blood cells. As they meet, the cells begin to change shape and multiply. Symptoms take several weeks to develop. Although the infection generally affects people from the age of 10 to 35, anyone can become infected. An infant is susceptible to the virus from the moment it leaves the mothers protection. Incubation period of the disease is age specific and can last anywhere from 14 days in children and teens to 50 days in adults. Chronic EBV is diagnosed after the virus has been present for more than 6 months and can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
It is possible for exposure to the virus to provide adaptive immunity to future sickness from the EBV antibodies. This means that much like with chicken pox, once you have been infected with this particular herpes virus, you are generally immune from being infected by it again. There are two-forms of EBV known simply as Type I and Type II. String I is the primary cause for mononucleosis. The second string is more of an autoimmune deficiency and is found more often in patients with HIV.
Epstein Barr Syndrome is spread through moisture contact from the throat or mouth of an infected person. It is more commonly known as the kissing disease because of this characteristic. Sharing drinking glasses or straws, toothbrushes, eating utensils, and kissing are ways that the virus can be spread. Epstein Barr symptoms develop slow and can have mild symptoms confused with those of the flu or the common cold. These symptoms include a sore throat, persistent fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. More serious Epstein Barr symptoms can present themselves as fever more than 105Â°, rash, eye pain or light sensitivity, and liver infection. Chronic cases of EPV can lead to chronic liver disease.
Diagnosis of EBV begins with the common symptoms of sore throat, swollen glands, fever, and the age of the patient. Physical exams are concluded to check for signs of enlarged liver or spleen. Blood tests are completed and checked for an elevated number of white blood cells. A specific test known as the monospot test is also performed as well as tests to check for the presence of specific EBV antibodies. Epstein Barr treatment is not specific. Since EBV like all herpes viruses is viral, antibiotics are ineffective. EBV is generally associated with streptococcal infections, so antibiotics can be prescribed for that treatment. Corticosteroids can be prescribed as Epstein Barr treatment in more sever cases to aid in the reduction of swelling. Generally, plenty of fluids and rest are required in those diagnosed with Epstein-Barr.