How is the Epstein-Barr virus related to lupus?

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While the cause of lupus and other autoimmune diseases is not known, the common and highly contagious Epstein-Barr virus is thought to be a link to the development of lupus in certain individuals. Practically everyone in the United States has been exposed and infected by the Epstein-Barr virus, which usually causes no symptoms or mild illness, but for some people the immune system creates unusual antibodies in reaction to the virus, leading to immune attack on the person's own body. Researchers do not understand all the factors involved in the suspected link between these two illnesses.

Continue Learning about Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral infections like herpes simplex, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), chicken pox and rotavirus are infections caused by a virus instead of a bacterium. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, but some specific viruses ...

like influenza A and B can be treated with certain antiviral medications. Most commonly, treatment for viral infections includes drinking lots of fluids, getting rest, eating well and letting the illness run its course.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.