Medical IDs for Chronic Epstein-Barr Syndrome
The confidence to live with chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome
Epstein-Barr virus, or EBV, is a common viral infection most people will have in their lifetime. It is part of the herpes virus family and is also called herpes virus 4. For many people, it causes no symptoms, and for others, it can cause a brief illness. In a rare group of people, it can become a serious chronic infection called chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection (CAEBV).
You can help ensure your safety in the event of a complication or emergency by wearing a medical ID for chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome.
How MedicAlert protects those living with chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome
One thing you shouldn’t worry about is what could happen if there’s an emergency. MedicAlert’s protection plans offer benefits that extend beyond the ID, providing safety and peace of mind for people living with chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome, their families and caregivers.
24/7 Emergency Response
Our team provides first responders the information they need to provide fast, accurate care.
Digital Health Profile
All your vital information, all in one place for you and your caregiver.
Emergency Contact Notification
In an emergency, we connect families so that no one is alone in a crisis.
Share the information that’s important to your care, such as use of rescue medications or contraindication for tests like MRIs.
Pair medical IDs for chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome with the protection plan that’s right for you.
What is chronic Epstein-Barr?
Around 95% of adults have had an infection with EBV in their lifetime. According to the Mayo Clinic, most of these asymptomatic infections happen by the age of 35. Around one-quarter of infections in teens and young adults cause a disease called mononucleosis. This is an acute (short-term) infection with symptoms that include fever, headache, fatigue, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.
After a person has an active EBV infection, the virus stays in their body but becomes dormant (or “sleeping”). Sometimes, because of stress or a compromised immune system, it can reactivate later and cause symptoms again.
In very rare cases, EBV infection can result in a person developing chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection (CAEBV).
In CAEBV, the symptoms of Epstein-Barr can be constant, or they may come and go, but they are never completely gone and they tend to get worse with time.
What causes chronic Epstein-Barr?
Epstein-Barr infection happens when the virus gets in a person’s body through contact with bodily fluids. According to the CDC, a common source is saliva, but it can also be found in blood and semen and can be spread through kissing, sexual contact, blood transfusions, and organ transplants.
Once it’s in the body, the virus attaches to white blood cells (lymphocyte B-cells). These infection-fighting cells are no longer able to fight the virus when this happens. With time, the majority of people infected with Epstein-Barr eventually recover from the infection. This usually happens within a few weeks. Sometimes symptoms can last for months, however.
After a person recovers from the infection, the virus becomes dormant in the body and no longer causes symptoms.
For a small number of people, though, the infection remains active. This is due to problems with how the immune system reacts to the virus.
What to engrave on your MedicAlert medical ID for chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome:
MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our Epstein-Barr bracelets and medical ID products. Engravings on medical IDs for chronic Epstein-Barr should include any critical medical information that can protect and save lives in an accident or medical emergency, for example:
- Medical history
- Any medical devices you use
- Any other important details about your health
Sample engraving. Consult our team if you need help engraving your medical ID for chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome.
What are the symptoms and complications of chronic Epstein-Barr?
When a person is first infected with Epstein-Barr virus, they can have several common symptoms. These include:
- Fatigue (feeling very tired)
- Sore and inflamed throat
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Enlarged spleen and liver
- Skin rash
Some people, especially children infected with EBV, will not have any symptoms at all or may have mild cold or flu-like symptoms.
People who develop chronic active EBV infection can have the same symptoms but may have further complications, including:
- Nerve damage
- Liver failure
Over time, people with CAEBV can develop serious immune system problems and organ damage.
There has also been research that links EBV infection to multiple sclerosis, lymphomas and other cancers, and several other serious illnesses, like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and type I diabetes. More research is needed to fully understand these links.
If you have CAEBV infection, these complications can lead to potential medical emergencies. Wearing a MedicAlert medical ID for chronic Epstein-Barr at all times can help protect you in an emergency, ensuring that first responders have access to your history of Epstein-Barr infection and any medications you currently take to treat symptoms and complications. This way, you can get the best possible medical care in an unexpected emergency, even if you can’t share this information yourself.
MedicAlert Foundation is proud to partner with NORD to provide support, educational resources and tools to help those affected by rare disease live more safely and confidently.
How do you diagnose chronic Epstein-Barr?
Because the symptoms of an Epstein-Barr infection are similar to many other common illnesses, it can be hard to diagnose. Along with your history of symptoms, there are several different antibody blood tests that can be checked to see if your body has had a recent (or prior) EBV infection.
To diagnose chronic Epstein-Barr, it’s necessary to perform special testing that looks for EBV DNA in the blood. These EBV DNA levels must be high for at least 3 months to meet the criteria for diagnosing CAEBV.
How do you treat, manage, and live with chronic Epstein-Barr?
According to the CDC, there is no specific treatment for Epstein-Barr infection. It is recommended to take steps to relieve symptoms of the infection, including:
- Taking over-the-counter medications for pain and fever
- Getting enough rest
- Drinking plenty of fluids
Your doctor can give you more specific instructions on how to care for yourself if you’ve been diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus.
The same steps apply to people with chronic Epstein-Barr. For people who develop more serious complications, other treatments and medications may be recommended by doctors to treat these complications. The only curative treatment for CAEBV is a stem cell transplant.
Because chronic Epstein-Barr can put you at risk for serious health complications, including a medical ID for chronic Epstein-Barr in your plan to manage CAEBV is a valuable step. With a MedicAlert ID, any healthcare providers who treat you in an emergency can understand that EBV is playing a role in your health. This helps them to make decisions about how to care for you.
How medical IDs for chronic Epstein Barr syndrome combined with MedicAlert Membership provide peace of mind
People who experience chronic active Epstein-Barr virus can have ongoing medical issues and may need medications to manage problems caused by the virus. Anyone with this medical condition can benefit from wearing a high-quality medical ID for chronic Epstein-Barr.
MedicAlert offers a globally recognized symbol for medical emergencies on a range of medical IDs. You can also enroll in a Protection Plan that helps you relay important details to first responders. In an emergency, you may not be able to share these details yourself, but MedicAlert can be your voice so that you can live worry-free, knowing you’re covered in these situations.
- We’re your voice: If you can’t speak for yourself due to a medical emergency, your ID will speak for you – informing others about your chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome and any medications you’re taking.
- 24/7 emergency protection: In an emergency, the MedicAlert team will relay all of your critical medical information to first responders, no matter where or when your emergency happens.
- Always connected: You should never be alone in an emergency. That’s why MedicAlert will reach out to your designated contacts if you are unable to do so.
- Live with peace of mind and confidence: MedicAlert will be there for you every step of the way. You’ll have the confidence and freedom to live your life with chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome, knowing we’ve got you covered.