You’ve probably heard about the mysterious Epstein-Barr infection in the TV series about Dr. House. And they could not have imagined that this disease with an outlandish name was in fact very common, and, most likely, you came across it and did not know it. What is it and what is dangerous? Learn about this from our material.
What is the Epstein-Barr virus?
This is one of the most widespread hidden infections. It belongs to the group of herpes, often called herpes of the fourth type. It is very widespread, almost every second adult man came across him as a child, not knowing about it. Symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus are almost always erased and do not have any manifestations, while antibodies can be found in human blood.
According to medical statistics, more than 55 percent of children, as well as 99 percent of adults, are infected with it. It can enter the body from a carrier and stay there for many years without manifesting itself, and with a weakening of the immune system, cause illness. And it can be as usual cold, and much more serious diseases.o-c.pw
The source of infection is a person infected with it. Most often, he has no manifestations of the disease, it has a hidden form. How is the Epstein-Barr virus transmitted?
Main transmission paths
- Through blood (by transfusion);
- Airborne (with saliva, usually with kisses);
- Contact and household (when using common objects in everyday life, such as toys for children);
- From mother to fetus (intrauterine).
The infection is very contagious, that is, contact with a sick person in the above way will cause a 100 percent infection. It penetrates the lymphoid tissues of the body through the respiratory tract.
With regard to sustainability in the external environment, it is quite stable, but is destroyed during disinfection, exposure to high temperatures and during drying.
What is dangerous virus
It is dangerous because of its unpredictability. In some cases, the disease is asymptomatic and can do no harm to the wearer. But also against the background of a weakened immunity, very serious and dangerous diseases can arise:
- Infectious mononucleosis;
- Oncological diseases;
- Chronic fatigue syndrome;
Consider a disease that is most often caused by acute infection – infectious mononucleosis, which is also called monocytic angina or Filatov’s disease. Infection occurs in a typical Epstein-Barr way – airborne droplets, usually through saliva when kissing or using dishes with a sick person.
Signs of mononucleosis
- Acute onset with fever;
- Swollen lymph nodes;
- Enlarged spleen, liver;
A person who has had an infectious mononucleosis can have enlarged lymph nodes from a few months to several years, and release the virus into the environment up to one and a half years.
Symptoms and treatment
Symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus, as already mentioned, may be absent if children have sufficiently strong immunity. As for babies with weakened immunity, they may experience the following signs after the incubation period (about 2 months):
- Main symptom – enlarged lymph nodes (cervical, submandibular, ulnar, occipital, etc.). May have moderate soreness. Gradually decrease after 2 weeks.
- Fatigue, weakness, headaches.
- Increasing the temperature to 39 degrees, which is hard to bring down antipyretic drugs.
- Rash of the most various types (spots, points, papules, etc.), lasts 10 days.
- Enlarged spleen.
- Sore throat.
- Frequent fungal diseases.
- Sometimes – an increase in the liver.
- Problems with appetite and digestion.
- Sleep disturbance
How to treat Epstein-Barr virus? For him there is no specific specific therapy. Treatment of diseases that are the result of complications. Also, the main goal of therapy is to remove the clinical manifestations of the infection, if not, then no medication is prescribed. Acute infectious mononucleosis is treated in a hospital.
Essential drugs prescribed for treatment
- Antiherpetic (acyclovir or Gerpevir, Zovirax);
- Human immunoglobulin to increase resistance to infections;
- Interferon inducers (Viferon, Tsikloferon);
- If necessary, antibiotics (for example, for angina, pneumonia);
- Other drugs according to the symptoms: antipyretic, antitussive, drops from a cold.
Important! In the treatment of infectious mononucleosis in no case can you use antibiotics of the penicillin group: this can lead to serious complications. This situation is possible if the diagnosis is incorrect, for example, suspected bacterial angina.
There are several options for the outcome of infection:
- Full recovery with the acquisition of lifelong immunity;
- Symptoms-free, chronic infection;
- The development of other diseases, including cancer or autoimmune; possible death.
As you already know, there is almost a 100 percent chance of being infected with this virus, and this is hard to avoid, since we all constantly come in contact with different people, among whom there may be many carriers of the infection. However, to minimize the occurrence of severe forms of the diseases provoked by it, it is possible to strengthen the immune system and the body’s defenses:
- Water treatment, hardening from childhood;
- Healthy balanced diet;
- Regular exercise;
- Regular stay in the fresh air;
- Avoid stress if possible.
Treatment of Epstein-Barr virus in children – video
Doctor Yevgeny Komarovsky talks in detail about the infectious mononucleosis in children, which is triggered by the Epstein-Barr virus, how it manifests and how it should be treated. Now you know that the Epstein-Barr virus is a very common phenomenon, it is very likely that you have come across it.
It is almost impossible to avoid infection, however, it is in your power to try to protect your child from serious complications. Teach your baby to a healthy lifestyle since childhood and conduct thorough examinations for any diseases for timely and correct diagnosis and adequate treatment.