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Epstein-Barr virus

The Epstein-Barr virus (abbreviated EBV) is a virus of the herpes family (which includes Herpes simplex virus and cytomegalovirus), and one of the most common viruses in humans. Most people become infected with EBV, which is often harmless. It is named after M. A. Epstein and Y. M. Barr, who, along with B. G. Achong, discovered the virus.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s EBV became the favoured explanation for chronic fatigue syndrome. It was noted that people complaining of characteristic exhaustion had EBV, although it was also noted EBV was present in almost everyone, even those not complaining of exhaustion. The debate lasted for several years. Recently the virus has been implicated in invasive breast cancer.

Diseases associated with EBV:

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