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Long-Haul COVID and Reactivated Epstein Barr Virus

re: ethics in medicine

Everything here about Long-Haul COVID and Epstein Barr Virus checks off nearly every box for my experience since my April 2020 infection.

It is worth testing for a recent EBV infection a month or two after COVID. Ditto for thyroid peroxidase and other thyroid markers. EBV is a potential auto-antibody causal factor for thyroid disease.

Pinnacle Care: Medical Intelligence Report

2022-03-09

...Immune System Perturbations

Reactivation of Epstein-Barr Virus

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a type of herpes virus present in more than 90% of the global population in a latent state that can be occasionally reactivated at times of stress, including viral infection (Gold et al., 2021). When infection with EBV occurs during childhood, there are few if any symptoms. Individuals who are infected during adolescence often experience mononucleosis.

Reactivation of the virus can occur throughout a person’s lifetime and typically results in fatigue, psychoneurosis/brain fog, sleep disturbance, arthralgia, pharyngitis, myalgia, headaches, fever, gastrointestinal complaints, and various skin rashes, which are similar to those reported for long COVID.

...

Testing indicated that 66.7% of individuals with long COVID were positive for EBV reactivation compared to 10% of those who had COVID-19 but did not have long- term symptoms.

...The most frequently reported symptoms in participants positive for reactivation of EBV were fatigue, insomnia, headaches, myalgia, and confusion. Skin rashes and tinnitus are also frequent symptoms for both EBV reactivation and long COVID, but were found at lower levels in this study.

Other researchers have also observed evidence of reactivated EBV during and after COVID-19. In one study, 55% of hospitalized individuals in Wuhan between January 9, 2020 and February 29, 2020 had evidence of reactivation of EBV within two weeks of testing positive for COVID-19. Researchers in Italy found that 95.2% of individuals treated in the intensive care unit and 83.6% of individuals treated in the sub-intensive care unit showed signs of EBV reactivation. A study in France reported that individuals treated for COVID-19 in the intensive care unit who tested positive for EBV reactivation had a longer stay in the intensive care unit.

There are not any approved medications for treatment of EBV reactivation, but there is some evidence that certain antiviral medications may be helpful in reducing the levels of virus and therefore, presumably symptoms.

WIND: I can check off nearly all the symptoms, some of which lasted for months and then disappeared, and some ongoing. But at this point, I cannot tell EBV apart from thyroid disease and maybe both are circling planets. This last week alone I experienced yet another cycle of high energy for 4 days followed by an off-the-cliff plunge, overnight.

Below, symptoms I experienced. I’m mostly just down to fatigue and some tinnitus, which worsens with increasing fatigue.

  • √√Fatigue (ongoing, cyclical up/downs).
  • √ Brain fog (and other effects).
  • √ Sleep disturbance (ongoing, variable).
  • Extreme sleep needs (early on 14 to even 24 hours, now up to 12 hours on a fatigue cycle)
  • √ arthralgia (gone now).
  • √ haryngitis (gone now)
  • √ Myalgia (gone now)
  • √ Gastrointestinal complaints (lasted months, gone now)
  • √ Headaches (for some months, infrequent now)
  • √ Skin rashes (gone now).
  • √√ Tinnitus (ongoing)
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