Epstein Barr virus infection is usually short lived, lastly only a few weeks in most people. However in some people it can become chronic, lasting for weeks, months or even years.
Symptoms of chronic Epstein Barr virus can include ongoing fatigue, muscle pain, brain fog, dizziness, and in some people recurrent sore throats and swollen glands. When the relapsing fatigue lingers for more than 6 months, some doctors reclassify the condition as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS.
The true definition of CFS is "unexplained relapsing fatigue for six months or more which is accompanied by at least four of the following symptoms: recurrent sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches or pains, headaches of a new pattern or intensity, unrefreshing sleep, poor concentration or short term memory and post-exercise tiredness that lasts more than a day".
Other conditions that can mimic the symptoms of CFS also need to be ruled out. These conditions include anemia, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, auto immune disease, hypothyroidism, chronic bacterial infections and gastrointestinal problems like Crohn's disease, colitis or celiac disease.
If your doctor has reclassified your chronic Epstein Barr virus as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, then you need to make sure your doctor is up to date with the latest information on this illness. Treatment for CFS is along the same lines as that for chronic Epstein Barr Virus. Focus should be on boosting immunity, repairing the adrenals, cleansing the liver, starting a gradual exercise program and managing stress. An understanding doctor who can offer emotional support is also essential. Understanding and love from family and friends can go a long way in helping you through chronic illness. If you do not have this type of help then you can access the many CFS and EBV forums available or even use the social networking sites like Facebook to connect with others with the same condition.