The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is part of the herpes family of viruses and a very common infection. In many cases infection causes no symptoms, but in late youth the infection can cause infectious mononucleosis (aka mono or "the kissing disease"). Later in life, EBV infection seems related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The virus is further associated with two forms of lymphoma and with multiple sclerosis.

Most people have in fact been infected by Epstein-Barr but developed antibodies that protect them from disease development. For those that develop symptoms from Epstein-Barr later in life the exposure simply did not occur in childhood. Exposure later in life may not result in symptoms, but for some it can create life-threatening or otherwise impactful health conditions

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