Epstein Barr Virus: Named after University of Bristol’s Professor, Michael Anthony Epstein and Yvonne Barr who revealed it in 1964, Epstein Barr Virus or EBV is a kind of herpes (DNA virus family). Commonly found in humans, it is also a cause of many diseases in animals. Herpes family, best known for being a cause of infectious mononucleosis or simply mono illness, includes HHV-1 (human herpes virus 1) and HHV-2 EBV, also known as HHV-4 or human herpes virus 4. However, it is associated with several diseases such as some forms of cancer and lymphoma associated with HIV, increasing the risk of certain autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, dermatomyositis and multiple sclerosis. Read about mono symptoms.
EBV, a global phenomenon, is one of the most common viruses noticed in human beings. We become infected with this virus during some part of our lives. For instance, in the United States, 95% of the adults, between the ages of 35 to 40 years, are found to be infected with EBV. Kids are often infected with this virus and it might be very difficult to identify it as different from other mild illnesses. Babies become vulnerable to it as early as they are born since anti-body protection from their mothers vanishes. If you get infected with EBV in your childhood, you might gain adaptive immunity, getting the growth of the virus checked. But if you’re infected with EBV in adolescence or teen years, you will end up having mono disease in most cases.
EBV is closely related to mono illness and many people identify it as one, but you can easily distinguish EBV from mono as EBV is a kind of virus and mono is an illness caused by EBV. As discussed earlier, mono is not the only disease it causes; it is also connected to diseases such as Burkitt’s lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. EBV is contained in the saliva of the infected person and may get transferred from one person to another, most probably, by kissing. Usually mono illness can affect you for a month, but EBV can remain in the throat as well as blood in latency for life. Read about mono symptoms in adults.
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