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What symptoms and signs did you experience with your Epstein-Barr virus infection?

Once the Epstein-Barr virus is acquired, it takes about four to six weeks for symptoms to appear. Children usually have nonspecific symptoms or no symptoms at all. Rarely, young children may have rashes, pneumonia, or low white blood counts.Many teenagers and young adults develop symptoms of mononucleosis. Acute mononucleosis causes sore throat, fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. The sore throat is very painful and is the usual reason for infected people to seek medical attention. Tonsils may become very swollen. Loss of appetite, fatigue, chills, headache, bloating, sore muscles, body aches, weakness, and sweats are common. Dizziness is reported in some patients. Although the symptoms fade in days to weeks, some patients complain of fatigue that lasts for weeks after infection, though most people eventually recover completely.A small percentage of people develop a rash due to the infection. A rash can also develop in people with mononucleosis who are given ampicillin or amoxicillin. This common reaction does not necessarily mean the patient is allergic to penicillin or related antibiotics. Appearance of the rash in conjunction with the above symptoms and signs can also lead to misdiagnosis of the condition.The spleen becomes swollen in up to half of people with mononucleosis. The spleen is always engorged with blood, and if it ruptures, it can cause a patient to bleed to death. Blunt trauma to the abdomen, even mild trauma, may result in splenic rupture if swollen. Patients with mono are usually advised not play sports, especially any contact sports. The spleen may also rupture spontaneously.A very small number of infected people have neurological complications. These include inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), of the lining of the brain (meningitis), or of individual nerves. Less commonly, infection of the spinal cord may occur. The majority of patients with neurological complications recover completely. Rarely, other organs may be involved, including the lungs or heart.Rarely, boys may develop overwhelming infection with EBV known as X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome. In X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome, the number of immune cells or lymphocytes (B cells) in the body increases substantially. The lymphocytes infiltrate major organs, often causing severe liver disease or death. Lymphoproliferative syndrome is probably a result of a subtle genetic defect that makes it difficult for the immune system to contain the virus. Organ transplants or bone marrow transplants are also risk factors for developing lymphoproliferative syndrome.In addition to lymphoproliferative syndrome, EBV is considered a risk factor for some cancers. One such cancer is lymphoma of the brain. Lymphoma of the brain is most common in people with advanced AIDS but also occurs in other immunosuppressed states. Nasopharyngeal cancer, Burkitt lymphoma (a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma), and some types of Hodgkin's lymphoma are also associated with EBV. The exact mechanism by which EBV helps to transform normal lymphocytes into cancer cells is not fully understood.EBV is associated with a condition called oral hairy leukoplakia. This is a white plaque on the side of the tongue that cannot be removed by gentle scraping. It is most common in people with AIDS or other immunosuppressive states.Mononucleosis causes fatigue, which can sometimes last for weeks or even longer. Therefore, chronic infection with EBV (CEBV) has been investigated as a cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also called systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID). Studies to date have not been able to find a causal link between EBV and CFS. In CFS, there is a chronic lack of energy often associated with difficulty concentrating or generalized pain. CFS is more common among women than men and occurs in early to middle adulthood. Blood tests are usually normal. There is no specific diagnostic test for CFS, and the cause remains unknown.During pregnancy, it is rare for a fetus to become infected with EBV even if the mother is infected. Even among women who do become infected while pregnant, there are no documented birth defects that have resulted.EBV is also associated with several autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, autoimmune thyroiditis, systemic lupus erythematosus, oral lichen planus (OLP), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), autoimmune hepatitis, Sjögren's syndrome, and Kawasaki disease.
23 Responses
Avatar universal
I was very tired and had no idea as to why. I had fevers and chills, was aching overall, and felt horrible. Tests found Epstein-Barr virus infection and my liver count was over 700. I don't really know what the norm is but was told that was unusually high.
Avatar universal
With Epstein-Barr virus infection I do not run a fever, just freeze and my whole body aches including my fingers. I am certainly not hungry. No sore throat; just severe aches and lethargy.
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I have severe vertigo, vomiting, spinning, sweats, chills, severe weakness, and feel helpless. I just recently read about Epstein-Barr virus infection as the possible cause.
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I have suffered for about 20 years, from Epstein-Barr virus infections. My doctor never has given me any kind of medication for it. I am just taking pain medications when needed. I am getting older and this takes a lot out of me now. I don't get the bad headaches any longer but my body hurts everywhere and I am really tired all the time. What a life!
Avatar universal
Severe brain fog and fatigue were my symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus infection. Joints can ache but the lack of energy to exercise is hard. No headaches or sore throat.
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I was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus infection 30 years ago. I had five months of constant headache, alternating fever and chills, brain fog and total fatigue. I went to bed tired and woke up tired. There were days I couldn't sleep at all and days I slept 20 hours and still woke up fatigued and with barely energy to get dressed. I felt lazy, slothful and stupid because I couldn't hold an intelligent thought. I felt like nobody believed it was real. I've been okay until April. It started with the fatigue all over again.
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With Epstein-Barr virus infection I get very bad aches and pains all over my body along with a sore throat and swollen glands, and feel very tired with no energy at all. I do not get a temperature. Sometimes I have chills. I hate the flare ups as my life stops and I have no energy. Seems like I get a flare up every two years or so. I hope that this information helps someone suffering with this. I can't do anything about a flare up except wait and let it run its course.
Avatar universal
Epstein-Barr virus infection caused high elevated liver enzymes, enlarged liver, enlarged spleen, and enlarged gallbladder. Neutrophils were very low, white blood counts extremely low, I was dehydrated, had fluctuation of fever up and down, night sweats, was extremely fatigued, had fluid on outside of both lungs (probably from no activity or exercise), sleepless nights, sore throat, stuffy head, as well as mononucleosis and cytomegalovirus. I spent couple nights in the hospital, and couple nights in the emergency room for IVs from dehydration. Currently I have been sick two weeks and not released to even think about work for a month.
Avatar universal
I've never had the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) diagnosis until today. I've been experiencing fatigue and just attributed it to getting older, so I drank a lot of caffeine until I crashed with swollen lymph nodes, aching all over, severe sore throat and felt freezing all of a sudden about a month ago. I was on the couch for days until I felt better. I took several commitments off my calendar in order to maintain my regular work schedule and I've been feeling much, much better with the exception of bloating which is most likely due to the enlarged spleen and swollen liver (other side effects from EBV). I strongly suggest rest is best for anyone experiencing this virus. You can get better and fast by saying no to things. Take care of yourself!
Avatar universal
I developed marginal zone lymphoma after multiple bouts of mononucleosis from Epstein-Barr virus infection. First it was diagnosed in the duodenum then disseminated to the base of tongue. From there the palatine tonsil and esophageal wall were involved. I am under observation after mass in duodenum was removed.
Avatar universal
My 25 year old son was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection a year ago. He had flu like symptoms with sore throat for about 5 days, he continues to have extreme fatigue and brain fog a year later. He works a full time job, falls asleep as soon as he gets home. He sleeps most of the weekend, never has any energy, and we are fearful how this will ever end.
Avatar universal
I am 19 and experienced relatively mild mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus infection) symptoms except for a persisting brain fog and lightheadedness that has lasted for many weeks past the main symptoms. I am able to exercise but not at the same level, and I'm not sure if that is making it worse.
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I had mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus infection) when I was 42 years old, I am now 69. Over the years the bouts of fatigue, brain fog and chills have increased in duration and there is less span of time between flare ups. All I can do is rest and pace myself. Stay positive.
Avatar universal
With Epstein-Barr virus infection I started feeling tired but the glands in my neck would ache. I felt heavy; like walking across the room felt as if I was weighed down by extra gravity. I felt anxious around crowds and I love people, but they wore me out to be around them. It took 6 months before I felt better but the glands in my neck still ache and I wonder if they will ever be back to normal. I just take 8 hour acetaminophen along with an anti-inflammatory pill.
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I ignored a 'cold' on the road 2/18. On 4/18 I tested positive for chronic mononucleosis after never recovering. I had chronic fatigue, enlarged spleen, extreme mouth ulcers (7 at once), headaches, no appetite, fevers, everything. All this lasted 8 months with testing positive for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. The doctor was slow to follow up so I was likely still positive after that. Now (8/19), I'm flaring up again. This is not a two-week problem, it can come back and probably will. Get a good doctor, many don't understand EBV long term.
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In late March of this year I was hit with extreme fatigue, insomnia, racing heart, and organ pain. After being bed bound and researching, I had tests done to confirm Epstein Barr virus infection. After a month on nootropics, I got all of my energy back; however 3 months later I got another flare up with another a month after that. It is now month 6 since my original diagnosis and the organ pain has subsided once again but the insomnia is back. I haven't slept well in several days as I type this.
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For the last 2 years I had a low-grade temperature (highest 99.9/baseline 97s) that changed daily, but I haven't seen below 98.3 in 2 years. I had weak muscles, extreme fatigue, flu like symptoms, chills, nausea, and exercise intolerance. Lab tests come back, I had EBV (Epstein-Barr virus), but not currently. I feel no one takes me seriously. This is majorly affecting my life. I go through cycles daily. I feel great and then awful. I have been really bad the last 3 weeks, but lab tests show low antibodies. I am at the end of my rope.
Avatar universal
I've had Epstein-Barr virus infection for almost 9 years. It comes and goes, but his year has been difficult. I muddle through work, come home and sleep. I'm tired, I have body aches, cloudy brain and my eyes are sensitive to light. I find going into a dark room and closing my eyes relaxes my body. I've changed my diet, I no longer eat dairy, I've cut done on sugar and carbs. My inflammation is better. Rest and sleep really help. I'm really hoping it will go away soon. Sigh.
Avatar universal
I got sick with Epstein-Barr virus infection in 2014 and my life has never been the same since. I barely remember that 1st year. I have lost muscle mass, weight and I have absolutely no energy. No one has been able to help me. It's the worst thing I have ever gone through.
Avatar universal
I had extreme fatigue like the day after a bad stomach bug when you are so worn you can hardly move. I also had fever and brain fog. I had no idea Epstein-Barr virus infection is what I had until I ended up in the emergency room with food-borne bacteria and this showed up on the blood work.  Going to see my general physician tomorrow to see if there is anything he can do. I can't stay home. I have to work.
Avatar universal
I stayed in bed for months with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, suffered from severe brain fog, memory loss, debilitating fatigue, and inflammatory symptoms that kept me in fight or flight mode for months. It was terrible and truly robbed me of any quality of life. I finally happened upon the celery juice cleanse and it gave me my health back and a fighting chance to keep EBV at bay.
Avatar universal
I get Epstein-Barr virus infection every year at the same time. Well, I had it really bad this time. I just had blood work saying it is gone! But I still have headaches, chills, dry eyes, fogginess, and really no appetite! I am really worried because every couple of days I will go out of the fogginess and have life back, only to go back and sleep again. This has been going on for about 5 months!
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with a 7.6 Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection level back in 1999. I have believed that this virus is responsible for chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, Hodgkin's disease, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), brain, skin and intestinal cancers, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, dementia, tooth decay, 4 types of hepatitis, HIV, and lupus. My observations of these afflictions in my friends and myself have formed a hypothesis that this EBV is linked to these diseases, and it is prevalent in everyone. There is no cure for this virus.
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