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  • Writer's pictureIt’s Complicated

The killer virus ?

The Epstein-Barr virus is part of the family of herpes viruses, and is actually one of the most common viruses in humans. EBV is found all over the world and has different names in different countries, Glandular fever and the cancer virus, are just 2 named examples.

It can live inside us forever and most people never realise they have this inside as it stays inactive and can stay inactive forever. The virus can activate multiple times and die again, depending on how good your body is at fighting viruses and infections. Those with weakened immune systems, for whatever reason, have a high chance of EBV reactivation. Most of the time it is less likely to cause severe problems.

Symptoms include :

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

  • Fatigue

  • Inflamed throat

  • Sore throat

  • Enlarged spleen

  • Liver issues

  • Issues with regulating body temperature

Diagnosis, especially on the NHS, can be difficult because the NHS doesn't run the necessary tests as routine testing. When presented with these symptoms + bloods that aren't great, the conclusion is cancer. EBV symptoms mirror blood cancer symptoms and yes, EBV can birth up to 5 types of cancer.

The symptoms above are the ones I originally had in November 2017, along with a swollen lymph node in 1 under arm and 2 in my neck which resulted in lack of movement in my neck. When I landed in A&E with all those symptoms and my blood work being all over the place, I was sent to Oncology as an urgent referral and then to Haematology, as things got worse Oncology needed me to be seen ASAP. Luckily it was not cancer and they never found out what the cause was.

Fast forward to May 2021, when I was seen privately for another reason and we discovered I have reactivation of EBV and learnt that the 2017 episode was EBV reactivation. I'm currently on 5 different supplements to keep it under control and did 1 round of anti viral, which did not help, so I'm now back on them for 6 weeks at a stronger dose.

Here's to hoping it dies down soon 🤞

Remember, a lot of viruses, more than you think, are part of the herpes family. Such as chickenpox. It does not mean a person is dirty or unhealthy. It is something majority of the population already has inside and probably will never activate throughout their entire life. The human body can do wonders.


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