New research suggests EBV is a risk factor in developing long COVID

Could Epstein-Barr Virus be contributing to long COVID?
Epstein-Barr Virus takes hold when our immunity is affected by either another illness, stress, tiredness, poor nutrition and other factors. When we contract COVID-19, our immune system is susceptible to other infections and to the reactivation of EBV.

Epstein-Barr Virus, also known as “EBV”, is the virus that causes “glandular fever”. It is commonly associated with teenagers but increasing evidence connects EBV with prolonged fatigue, aches and pains, chronic pain, poor sleep and brain fog.

At a time when we are also looking at a high prevalence of long COVID, which presents some similar symptoms, it’s worth taking some time to look at this infection and how it interacts with COVID-19.

A new study

Even in 2022, I see patients at my clinic who suffer from chronic tiredness, aches and pains, and so on who have never been tested for EBV. The difficult thing about this virus is that it can “reactivate” when our immunity is dampened by other illnesses or by stress.

We already know that EBV is connected to diseases such as MS, but how many people who have “long COVID” are in fact impacted as well by active or reactivated EBV? This is an area of research that is in its infancy but a recent study in January of this year into long COVID was published in the Cell journal.

The study showed that there are four conditions that increase a person’s risk of developing long COVID including having had an EBV infection at some point.

We know very little about the way the two viruses COVID-19 and EBV interact. The evidence currently suggests that EBV does play some kind of role.

PRIVATE BLOOD TESTING INCLUDING EPSTEIN-BARR VIRUS

So what is the takeaway message here?

Epstein-Barr Virus takes hold when our immunity is affected by either another illness, stress, tiredness, poor nutrition and other factors.

When we contract COVID-19, our immune system is susceptible to other infections and to the reactivation of EBV. If you are suffering from long COVID, it is worth considering a blood test for EBV – both active virus and previous antibodies – as a contributing factor.

But whether or not this tests positive, the steps you’ll need to take are the same. This is Project Wellbeing – which is making your wellbeing and your immunity an active project, where you go above and beyond your usual efforts. From making green juices to making sure you get your daily walk, you can read my guide here.

I will continue to update you as more research emerges on long COVID.

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