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FAQ: CFS FAQ
Section - 2.19 How does CFS relate to the Epstein-Barr virus?

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The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the cause of mononucleosis, and a well-publ=
icized
study in 1985 suggested that there may be a strong correlation to CFS. But =
many
doctors have not read the later research that has minimized what at first s=
eemed to be a
strong link. The original apparent correlation was described in:

Straus SE, Tosato G, Armstrong G, Lawley T, et al. Persisting illness and
fatigue in adults with evidence of Epstein-Barr infection. Ann Intern Med
1985; 102:7-16.

Later studies showed that many CFS patients have had no exposure to EBV at =
all.
This clarification has been shown in:

  Buchwald D, Sullivan JL, Komaroff AL. Frequency of "chronic active
Epstein-Barr" virus infection in a general medical practise. JAMA 1987;
257:2303-7.

Holmes GP, Kaplan JE, Stewart JA, et al. A cluster of patients with a
chronic mononucleosis-like syndrome. JAMA 1987; 257:2297-302.

EBV, and other viruses, may ultimately be found to play some role in CFS in=
 many
patients. But based on the studies cited above, it would not be appropriate=
 to rule a
diagnosis of CFS based solely on a negative test for EBV.=20

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