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The cause of the illness is not yet known. Current theories are looking at = the possibilities of neuroendocrine dysfunction, viruses, environmental toxins,= genetic predisposition, or a combination of these. For a time it was thought that E= pstein-Barr Virus (EBV), the cause of mononucleosis, might cause CFS but recent researc= h has discounted this idea. The illness seems to prompt a chronic immune reaction= in the body, however it is not clear that this is in response to any actual infect= ion -- this may only be a dysfunction of the immune system itself. A recent concept promulgated by Prof. Mark Demitrack is that CFS is a gener= alized condition which may have any of several causes (in the same way that the co= ndition called high blood pressure is not caused by any one single factor). It *is*= known that stressors, physical or emotional, seems to make CFS worse. Some current research continues to investigate possible viral causes includ= ing HHV-6, other herpes viruses, enteroviruses, and retroviruses. Additionally, co-fac= tors (such as genetic predisposition, stress, environment, gender, age, and prior illness= ) appear to play an important role in the development and course of the illness. Many medical observers have noted that CFS seems often to be "triggered" by= some stressful event, but in all likelihood the condition was latent beforehand.= Some people will appear to get CFS following a viral infection, or a head injury, or su= rgery, excessive use of antibiotics, or some other traumatic event. Yet it's unlik= ely that these events on their own could be a primary cause.