Viral infections contagious?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by SpecialK82, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 New Member

    I read Dr. Pellegrino's transcript of his live chat this morning and found something quite curious - I have never heard this mentioned before:

    "if several members of the same family develop fibromyalgia or if a husband and wife combination with fibromyalgia occurs - is a possible infection cause. A number of studies have suggested that there may be a pathogen which can lead to fibromyalgia in the individual but may also cause an infection in other individuals in the proximity. This may be a virus (i.e., Epstein-Barr virus, Parvovirus) or a bacteria infection (i.e., Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Lyme), or even yeast and parasite infection (i.e., Candida, Giardia)."

    This left me speechless. I know Dr. Lerner does not think that the viruses are contagious, or at least a normal healthy individual would not have any problems in fighting if off and would have no symptoms. Maybe the 2nd person catching the infection would have to have the same genetic defects or immune dysfunction???

  2. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    hi kristina.

    noone knows the answer to this yet. CFS has occured in clusters and sometimes occurs in the same family but no one knows why.

    once you have CFS and the acute phase of the infection is over, i am pretty sure you can't pass it on despite normal shedding of the herpes viruses or other pathogens.

    they think the lake tahoe people who "originally" got CFS got it after contracting the less common HHV6 variant A.

    it is also possible that memebers of the same family might have chromosomally integrated HHV6a..

    but these are all guesses....
  3. sascha

    sascha Member

    and he said i cannot infect people (i have cfids, and tested positive for HHV6 and HSV1). i hope that's the definitive word. best, sascha
  4. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    If a cold virus is contageous, certainly others are....

    I have a very high level of Epstein Barr and I believe it is acknowledged this is contageous. I have read most the population has Epstein Barr, it just does not make everyone sick.

    They even think cancer could be caused by a virus..

    I have been reading about the connection of "poor nutrition" related to our ability to fight off infections, viruses, etc.

    Most of the time we think of treatments rather than prevention of illness.

  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Infections have an active stage where they can be passed from person to person. It is possible that more than one person could be exposed. Sometimes, when we get a virus, we aren't that sick. Later on, the infection can set up house in our bodies and thrive beneath the immune system's radar. I can no longer infect anyone near me with the mycoplasma infection which triggered my illnesses full blown, but I probably got if from an infected soldier with an active infection in the holiday shopping crowds. I lived next to a military facility where soldiers were being vaccinated prior to deployment to the first Gulf War. Vets with GWI have high levels of chronic mycoplasma infections. I got very sick and the infection left me crippled for months. I've never been the same since.

    FMS runs in our family and I have it and CFIDS. I believe there is a genetic component, which is more common than understood now, and that exposure to stress, illness, and/or trauma can set these illnesses off. I came through a lot of triggering events and apparently recovered only to finally succumb to the mycoplasma infection.

    Sorry I can't answer your question but I do think it is important to understand that these infections can have an active, infectious stage and then go on to develop into a chronic infection. Lyme, Mycoplasmas, and Herpes-Family Viruses can lie latent in the body only to reactivate if one gets run down, sick, or injured. There are a lot of docs who do not know or believe this. My rheumy told me that there is no such thing as a chronic mycoplasma infection. Thank God my other docs worked with me and read the research I brough to them.

    Love, Mikie
  6. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 New Member

    So it seems the consensus is that only the (beginning) active infection can be spread and not the chronic condition. It is so strange with me that I did not start with an illness.

    I don't even remember having mono even though I have EBV now. It must have been so mild in childhood that I thought it was a cold. It seems that it must have been dormant for years, and I can't come up with a triggering event that would have brought it out, except day-to-day stress.

    Like you said Mikie, the genetics must play a part. My Mother had FM as well.

    Mikie, I noticed from your profile that you have used transfer factor. Can you tell me your experiences - did it help you? I'm wondering the effectiveness of taking AV's alone vs. AV's and transfer factor?

    Thanks so much!

  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    The TF's were a big part of my overall treatment plan. I had finished the AV's and ABX, for the most part, and my doc and I started the TF, ending up with Heparin injections to clean up the fibrin. The TF's pack a wallop and caused a huge immune response in me. I felt as though I had the flu. I had to empty small amounts of the powder into my mouth every day for a month before I was able to swallow a whole capsule. I took them for three months and then pulsed off of them for six weeks and back on for a couple of days. I no longer take them because ProHealth lost their distributor for the targeted TF's. They used to be able to say which pathogens were targeted but I believe the FDA has put a stop to that.

    I don't know whether our infections are contageous when they reactivate. If that doc were so concerned, he should have been wearing a mask. Most docs see patients with Mono and the flu all the time without freaking out about catching something. If his immune system is normal, he will probably not catch anything or his immune system will fight it off. No one that freaky about germs should be a doc. Oy!

    One interesting thing which happens to me is that if I get around anyone with shingles, I will get a huge immune response as my immune system fights off the virus. Even when the shingles are almost gone, this happens. My doc wasn't surprised because we have tried to "fine tune" my immune system to where it fights pathogens.

    I think we need to try to rebuild our own immune systems as we fight the infections. The TF's, which contain colostrum; colostrum; undenatured whey; and probiotics all help our immune systems to heal and become more effective.

    Chronic infections can eventually cause autoimmunity as they kill off host cells and drag our own DNA with them. This, I believe, is also a danger in revving up our own immune systems. So far, so good with my progress. I do not think we can achieve healing as long as chronic infections run ranpant in our bodies.

    Love, Mikie
  8. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    kelly..the biochemist that told you his wife had 17 yrs of CFS....had she recovered?

    thank you
  9. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 New Member

    That's worrisome that she was hospitalized with those EBV titers as I had 1:10,240 when I was at FFC last year. I don't know if this has worsened any since Lerner doesn't do the same test.

    Mikie - I was just wondering if any of us with EBV should stay away from people with Mono. I guess we should stay away from chicken pox, shingles as well? I've never thought of shingles as being contagious but it sounds like it can be for us? ugh!

    I hadn't heard about taking TF's without AV's at the same time. It seems like it was doing something for you. What was the problem with the FDA?


  10. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 New Member

    Thanks for clarifying the EBV titers, you are right that we all have a different mixture of problems so it's hard to say what will set any one person off.

    That's interesting that you have a niece with EBV also. Is it a blood relative? If so, that seems to point back to the genetic component. Did your niece's legs recover? How scary, I can completely imagine that possibility. BTW, what type of treatments has she pursued and has she had any success?

    CFS has got to be one of the whackiest illnesses around!!

    Kristina :)
  11. Atlanta8

    Atlanta8 New Member

    My cousin and I both have CFS (she was born of my mum's twin sister) - but we had two different triggers. Mine was EBV, but I think hers was just a gradual onset of flu-like symptoms.

    I've also heard of a gran/ mother/ daughter all having CFS!
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    But I think we should avoid anyone who is sick, if possible. I don't know that we can "catch" what others have but I do know that if we have latent chronic infections, they can reactivate at any time when conditions are right (or wrong).

    My Mom's best friend was all but over her shingles when I gave her a hug. I almost immediately had a very strong immune reaction with swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, headache, and a fluish feeling. I see that as a positive thing that my own immune system is sensitive enough to fight off even the presence of Herpes-Family Viruses in proximity to me. This may be because of the TF's which put my immune system on notice to fight these things.

    BTW, I had given Mom's friend a canister of the undenatured whey and told her to take it in milk or water every day. Her shingles began to go away as soon as she started to take the whey. She thinks that really helped her.

    Love, Mikie
  13. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 New Member

    I am going to keep myself away from anyone with Herpes viruses from now on, it certainly can't hurt.

    It would be interesting if we were able to go back through our ancestors and delve into their medical problems. Although I'm sure there wasn't much documented about these types of symptoms then.

    Kelly - I wouldn't mind having a fainting couch to rest on, that sounds so much more elegant than what I do. :)

  14. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    that is interesting the sensitivity some of you are describing to others viruses. I suspect most scientists and doctors would say its really unlikely that we would react so quickly in our own way to others illness? but I had wondered about my getting the dermatitis flare up thingI get when I am run down more than once when I stayed with a friend for a week tht I go visit once or twice a year, she has herpes, I don't know if she was in an active stage when I was there, she has had it probly over 20 years, but I didnt think it was possible that her situation could arouse my immune system, I mean I don't think thats traditional thinking right? What would the mechanism be that you guys think someone else having herpes or something that may not even be active is stirring up your own immune system, not that you are catching it from them but your body just does what it does when it flares; I don't get it but i think maybe there is something to it.
  15. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    What researchers now know is that even when there are no signs of infection, it can be spread to one's sexual partner(s). If that is the case, it doesn't seem strange to me that our immune systems could pick up on Herpes Viruses in others, even when they are not actively sick.

    I believe that, in my own case, the transfer factors I took "woke up" my immune system to go after the pathogens targeted. Those included EBV, CMV and both strains of the HHV-6. Perhpas my immune system is particularly sensitive to the Herpes-Family Viruses.

    My doc told me to definitely avoid anyone with shingles, even when they seem to be all but gone because the reactivated Herpes virus which causes chicken pox and shingles never really goes away. Perhaps at the end of a shingles outbreak, the virus isn't really latent.

    I don't have the answers. I've researched these illnesses off and on for seven years. What I have is a better understanding of what I need to do for myself but I have more questions than answers.

    Love, Mikie
  16. simonedb

    simonedb Member

    mikie and others

    weren't people initially implying here though that they just feel worse or flared just being around someone who has a virus, even if its dormant and perhaps they have a dormant one too----that somehow other viral people stimulate other viral people or something to have flareups......?

    I agree its best to try to mutually avoid sick people, can be difficult.

    I am wondering though now if somehow dormant viral people flare other viral people somehow, I dont mean infect them, but stir up whats already there.
  17. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    In my case, it isn't a flare so much as an immune reaction to having been exposed to the person with the virus. My own immune system is very sensitive. That is why I don't get flu shots. I have a violent immune reaction to them.

    When we get sick with a virus, it is often our own immune reaction to the virus which makes us feel so bad and not the virus itself.

    Love, Mikie

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