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‘Herpes’ not implicated in causing multiple sclerosis (MS)

Epstein Barr viruses

This week BBC Radio 4’s ‘Science Now’ covered research into the causes of MS and similar diseases. Within fifteen minutes we had three phone calls telling us about this, because the word ‘herpes’ was mentioned.

Listeners who paid careful attention to what was said will have realised that the virus being discussed was Epstein Barr virus, one of the herpes family of viruses, but not herpes simplex of either type – so emphatically not the viruses that cause genital herpes.

Epstein-Barr virus (humanherpes virus 4) is the possible trigger for multiple sclerosis. The German scientist who was interviewed for ‘Science Now’ loosely referred to the ‘surname’ of the whole family of herpes viruses as he explained that it was Epstein-Barr that was in the frame.

His new study builds on previous research and provides further evidence that multiple sclerosis may be caused by a viral infection. The suspected virus, the Epstein-Barr virus, is most commonly known as the cause of mononucleosis or kissing disease. Most people become infected with it at some point in their lives, often with no symptoms.

Click for the page that explains all the herpes viruses: https://herpes.org.uk/nine-human-herpes-viruses/

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