Epstein-Barr Virus Facts

Epstein-Barr Virus Facts
The Epstein Barr virus is also known as the human herpesvirus 4 and is one of eight viruses known to exist in the herpes family of viruses. The most common infection resulting from the Epstein Barr virus is infectious mononucleosis, also called glandular fever. When Epstein Barr virus is contracted as a child there are often no noticeable symptoms but when contracted as an adult the symptoms can include fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and others. Adolescents that contract the Epstein Barr virus have as high as 50% chance of developing mononucleosis. Other health conditions associated with the Epstein Barr virus include Hodgkin's lymphoma, Burkitt's lymphoma, central nervous system lymphomas, and gastric cancer.
Interesting Epstein-Barr Virus Facts:
The Epstein Barr virus was named after Michael Anthony Epstein (professor, pathologist, and electron microscopist) and Yvonne Barr (Ph.D graduate), who discovered the virus' existence in 1964.
Epstein Barr virus infection can result in symptoms such as fatigue, fever, an inflamed throat, an enlarged spleen, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, a rash, and a swollen liver.
It is most common for an individual to become infected with Epstein Barr virus in childhood, when symptoms are either non-existent or very mild.
A teenager or adult that contracts Epstein Barr virus will usually improve in two to four weeks' time. In some cases an individual may feel extremely fatigued for months.
It is relatively easy to spread the Epstein Barr virus through kissing, the sharing of food and drinks, sharing cups, toothbrushes, utensils, or touching toys that have been drooled on by an infected child.
Other forms of transmission include sexual contact, organ transplantation, blood transfusions, and any method of transfer through saliva.
It is believed that the Epstein Barr virus will survive as long as it is moist, so once a contaminated object dries it should not be a source of transmission.
A person with carrying the Epstein Barr virus can spread it for weeks even before symptoms appear. The virus then becomes inactive but can reactivate in the future and become contagious again.
Because the symptoms of Epstein Barr infection are often very similar to other illnesses it is often not diagnosed.
Diagnosis of Epstein Barr includes a blood test.
It is estimated that 9 out of every 10 adults have had an Epstein Barr virus infection in the past.
There is no vaccine currently to protect people from contracting the Epstein Barr virus.
Prevention of the spread of Epstein Barr virus includes not sharing drinks or food with those known to have the virus.
Once an individual becomes ill with Epstein Barr virus there is no specific treatment but they should drink a lot of fluids, get a lot of rest, and take medications as needed to deal with the fever and possible pain associated with the infection.
Complications or other disease associated with Epstein Barr virus include lymphomatoid granulomatosis, acute genital ulcers, oral hairy leukoplakia, multiple sclerosis, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, stomach cancer, and Gianotti-Crosti syndrome.
Infection with Epstein Barr virus has also been known to make someone hypersensitive to mosquito bites.

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