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Is EBV infection contagious and how is it acquired?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 594 Questions
My aunt has ebv is it contagious.? And do u treat it! My aunt was diagnosed with ebv is it contagious? What is the treatment for it? Thank u... How do u think she got it!
Posted Thu, 6 Mar 2014 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 39 minutes later
Brief Answer: Yes, it is contagious, by sexual contact or saliva Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. Yes, EBV is contagious, in childhood, it spreads by repeated close contact with persons with EBV infection. In young adults and later life this virus is mainly transmitted by saliva (kissing) or by sexual intercourse. So yes, it is contagious. It is usually a self limiting disease not requiring any treatment. These drugs can be used to limit the viral replication, acyclovir, ganciclovir, and famciclovir, and pyrophosphate analogues, such as foscarnet. You must talk to her doctor about using these medicines to treat her. Hope this answers your query, please do write back if you have any doubts. Regards.
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Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 10 minutes later
Brief Answer: Difficult to say. Detailed Answer: Hello again. Thanks for writing back. As I mentioned earlier, this virus has at least three different modes of transmission, so she could have got it during her 20's while kissing someone, or by sexual contact later on. Some people even after infection remain asymptomatic carriers (they will not show any signs of the disease but the virus will continue to multiply in their body), so it may be an incidental finding on lab tests. Hope this answers you query. Wishing your aunt a speedy recovery and good health to both of you. Kind regards. PS., If you are satisfied with my answers, please accept the answer and rate it as well. Thanks.
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Follow-up: Is EBV infection contagious and how is it acquired? 48 minutes later
Well currently after doing a lab test her immune system is at 2.5 meaning her white cells counts is low. Do u think because of her immune system being low this disease surfaced?
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 40 hours later
Brief Answer: WBC counts low because of the infection. Detailed Answer: Hello again. Thanks for writing back. If the infection is fresh/recent, the low WBC counts are because of the EBV infection itself. EBV or any viral disease can cause low WBC counts. You need to a few days and repeat the WBC counts. That said, yes, EBV can be reactivated (when previously infected), in low immunity conditions such as while on immunosuppressive medications like steroids, antivirals, anti cancer drugs, and in medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV or any other concurrent viral illness. I know this is confusing, I do not intend to make it sound confusing deliberately, but that is the fact. Please ask your treating doctor to ask for repeat tests and also ask for a prescription for anti viral medicines that I mentioned earlier. Hope this answers your query, please feel free to revert back to me in case you need any clarifications. Regards.
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