Q. What can be the reason for prolonged weakness that occurs after Epstein-Barr virus infection?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 12, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am feeling like I have flu for the past six months. I have low-grade fever, chills, and fatigue. I feel pain on one side of my throat while swallowing. I have done several blood tests. I did a throat swab last week for infection. But results were negative. Kindly help.



Welcome to

Thanks for writing in, and I understand you.

As per the reports attached (attachments removed to protect patient's identity), CRP (C-reactive protein) is above normal, and neutrophil, MCV (mean corpuscular volume), MCH (mean corpuscular hemoglobin) are below normal, and lymphocyte is above normal. Epstein-Barr virus screen, EBNA (Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1) IgG antibody titer is positive, which indicates that you were previously infected with EBV virus. As you have history of EBV (Epstein-Barr virus) infection, you may suffer from EBV induced long term after effects. More than one in every ten EBV infected patients may suffer from chronic fatigue that can persist for more than six months which may be a form of chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS according to many medical experts. Symptoms of CFS are prolonged weakness or fatigue, repeated sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, fever like feeling or symptoms, chills, muscle or joint pain, headache, enlarged lymph nodes, sleep disorder, impairment of memory or concentration, and many more.

It is a matter of the fact that there is no specific investigation or test that can confirm CFS. Similarly, there is no specific treatment for CFS. I suggest taking painkillers for your pain. Taking a balanced diet daily, plenty of fluids intake, exercising regularly, taking proper rest, meditation or yoga, getting adequate sleep regularly, stress-free life, etc., may help subside your CFS gradually.

I hope you find the reply useful.


Hi doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

The EBV infection was not this year.




Welcome back to

As I have already mentioned, more than one patient in every ten patients with EBV infections may suffer from prolonged fatigue that may last for more than six months as a form of chronic fatigue syndrome. Fatigue more than six months and more may indicate CFS according to its diagnostic criteria. So it is not relevant, when you were affected by viral infection like EBV. It may stay in your body and may reactivate again or produce any long-term after-effects when your body's immune system is hampered or suppressed due to some causes. You have a history of EBV infection previously, and your CFS may be produced by that virus when your immune system was impaired due to some causes.


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