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USF-led study suggests some chronic fatigue syndrome patients may benefit from anti-herpesvirus drug treatment

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Many experts believe that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has several root causes including some viruses. Now, lead scientists Shara Pantry, Maria Medveczky and Peter Medveczky of the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine, along with the help of several collaborating scientists and clinicians, have published an article in the Journal of Medical Virology suggesting that a common virus, Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), is the possible cause of some CFS cases.

Over 95 percent of the population is infected with HHV-6 by age 3, but in those with normal immune systems the virus remains inactive. HHV-6 causes fever and rash (or roseola) in infants during early childhood, and is spread by saliva. In immunocompromised patients, it can reactivate to cause neurological dysfunction, encephalitis, pneumonia and organ failure.

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