Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the causative agent of viral pharyngitis, also known as infectious mononucleosis. The virus is contagious, and it can be transmitted when a person comes in contact with bodily excretions, either directly or indirectly (i.e., when a person is exposed to an object that came in contact with a secretion infected by EBV.)

EBV can be transmitted as early as the incubation period – which lasts from four to seven weeks – as well as during the onset of symptoms; however, some people report being infectious even 18 months after transmission.

In 1964, Michael Anthony Epstein and Yvonne Barr discovered the virus while looking at a Burkitt lymphoma cell line. It was then linked to infectious mononucleosis soon after.

While EBV, also called the human herpesvirus 4, can cause mononucleosis, not everyone infected with it get the condition. However, once a person gets EBV, it can persist in the body for life. In serious cases, healthy people with the virus pass it onto uninfected people through kissing or sharing food, earning the title “the kissing disease.”

Known risk factors and symptoms of Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis

Some risk factors for EBV and infectious mononucleosis include the following:

  • Intimate contact with body secretions like those from the cervix and semen
  • Young age – The condition mostly appears in children and adolescents
  • Blood transfusions and organ transplants

EBV can affect people differently upon infection. While children may display nonspecific symptoms, severe cases may lead to rashes, pneumonia, and even a low white blood count.

Mononucleosis occurs in teenagers and young adults, where symptoms include a sore throat, fevers, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. In most cases, people seek medical attention because of pain from their sore throat. Additionally, the tonsils may also become swollen, with symptoms such as loss of appetite, fatigue, chills, headache, bloating, sore muscles, body aches, weakness, and sweats also reported.

Body systems affected by Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis

In some cases, the EBV may cause the spleen to be enlarged. In addition, complications include the onset of seizures, nerve damage, abnormalities in behavior, and airway blockage because of swollen lymph nodes.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis

There are some herbal treatments to address the effects of EBV and mononucleosis, according to Livestrong.com. To boost the immune system, astragalus and echinacea can be used, while cat’s claw helps deal with viral infections. Dandelion and milk protect the liver from damage. Other herbs that can be used include goldensealolive leaf extractpau d’arco, and spirulina.

Treatment and management options for Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis

There is no specific treatment procedure for mononucleosis. At the onset of the condition, the patient is advised to rest during the first two weeks. He can then return to an active lifestyle afterward. Heavy lifting and contact sports should be avoided until a doctor confirms that the spleen has returned to normal.

Where to learn more

Summary

The Epstein-Barr virus is the causative agent of viral pharyngitis, also known as infectious mononucleosis. The virus is contagious, and it can be transmitted when a person comes in contact with bodily excretions, either directly or indirectly. EBV can be transmitted as early as the incubation period – which lasts from four to seven weeks – as well as during the onset of symptoms; however, some people report being infectious even 18 months after transmission.

Once a person gets EBV, it can persist in the body for life. In serious cases, healthy people with the virus pass it onto uninfected people through kissing or sharing food, earning the title “the kissing disease.”

Sources include:

MedicineNet.com

eMedicineHealth.com

MSDManuals.com

Livestrong.com



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