People who struggle to recover from COVID-19 could be battling more than just SARS-CoV-2. Their immune systems might also be involved with another virus as well.
Ever since patients first started reporting long hauls of COVID-19, many of their lingering symptoms, such as fatigue and brain fog, have been compared to chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).
New research suggests that's no coincidence. In some cases, both chronic illnesses might have similar roots. A recent study among 185 COVID-19 patients in the United States has found the majority of 'long haulers' the researchers tested were positive for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation.
Recent research has found that a subset of CFS/ME patients show signs of EBV reactivation, and now, it seems that a potentially large percentage of people with long COVID do as well.
EBV is one of the most common viral infections out there. The vast majority of people around the world contract the virus at some point in their lives, and after the acute infection phase, an inactive version of the virus sticks around in the body for a lifetime.