Active hidden viruses, and what we sometimes refer to as chronic viral syndrome, occurs when a virus or viruses that should be dormant repeatedly reactivate in the body. Perhaps the best example to explain how this happens is Chickenpox. The majority of the population is infected with this acute virus as children. However, after the initial illness, the virus goes dormant and can stay that way forever. In some people though, it can reactivate in the form of shingles which is the Chickenpox virus resurfacing in a more serious and painful form.
Viruses remaining dormant in your body is true of numerous other viruses and these too can reactive, given the right circumstances. Everyone is exposed to viruses, among many other things, from the time we are born.
Types of Infections
Infections are invasions of the body by any external pathogen that causes damage to the body. Pathogens may take the form of bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. Acute infections are usually fought off by the immune system, however this is not the case with chronic infections.
- Bacterial – microscopic living organisms, usually one-celled, that are found everywhere. They can be beneficial or harmful and are capable of reproducing.
- Viral – a virus is an organism that cannot reproduce on its own; it can only replicate inside the cells of a host organism
- Fungal – living organisms that include molds, yeast, and mushrooms
- Parasitic – organism that lives on or in its host and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense
Active Hidden Viruses
Often referred to as “stealth pathogens,” they have the ability to live inside cells. They target white blood cells and travel throughout the body especially to areas of inflammation. What makes them particularly troublesome is that they can persist in a dormant state and live in healthy people without causing illness. However, when the immune system is compromised, they reactivate and have the ability to wreak havoc.
The most common Active Hidden Viruses that can cause chronic illness are:
- Herpes Simplex 1 – fever blister/cold sore variety
- Herpes Simplex 2 – genital herpes
- Herpes Virus 3 – Epstein-Barr virus (EPV)
- Herpes Virus 4 – Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
- Herpes Virus 5 – Varicella Virus (Chickenpox/Shingles)
- Herpes Virus 6 – immune system virus
- Parvo Virus – the human form which affects the skin and immune system
- Cocksackie A & B Virus – Hand and Mouth Disease, Slapped Face Disease
Symptoms of Active Hidden Viruses
Usually in the initial stages of Active Hidden Viruses, symptoms can be non-existent or mild. However, if left untreated, they can become more severe and even debilitating. What makes chronic viral infections so hard to treat is that their symptoms are vague and can mimic many other conditions. Most doctors do not test for the presence of active viruses or infections which can lead to a lot of suffering and frustration for the individual afflicted with them.
Symptoms can include:
- Chronic respiratory problems including sinus infections and asthma
- Frequent low-grade fevers
- Chronic joint and muscle pain with or without swelling of the joints
- Hives and skin rashes
- Frequent urinary infections
- Sore throat
- IBS (alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation)
- Other digestion issues such as gas, bloating, or heartburn
- Exhausting fatigue
- Chronic yeast (Candida) infections
One of the most common types of chronic viral infections is Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It is estimated that 95% of the world population has been infected with this at some point in their lives. The initial infection of this virus results in Mononucleosis. If afflicted as a small child there are almost no symptoms associated with this acute virus except for perhaps a few days of flu-like symptoms. However, if a person contracts Mono when they are in their teens or older, symptoms are quite debilitating and it can take months to recover. Some people are not aware that they’ve ever had it.
Epstein-Barr can then resurface later in life and become chronic. It is not uncommon for other viruses to reactive at the same time which compounds symptoms and can even lead to such debilitating syndromes such as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.
Causes of Chronic and Active Hidden Viruses
Usually this happens due to chronic immune dysfunction or a compromised immune function. A number of factors can contribute to the immune system not functioning like it should; these are usually a result of the body and mind being exposed to long term stressors. Causes of chronic infections can be a combination of poor diet, emotional and physical stress, exposure to toxins, and microbes (pathogens) resurfacing.
Lifestyle, diet, and environment all play a role in degradation of the immune system. For example, eating what is now referred to as the “Standard American Diet” adversely affects the immune system. This diet is high in sugars, simple carbohydrates and processed foods. Eating like this for a long period of time can cause immense damage to the gut microbiome where 75% of whole-body immunity is housed.
Repeated exposure to toxins disrupt the healing systems of the body. Toxins are found everywhere in our modern environment, from the foods we eat and drink to the pesticides and chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis.
Physical stress not only includes sudden trauma or illness, but also includes things like not getting enough sleep, alcohol/drug abuse, smoking, and even living a sedentary lifestyle.
Emotional stress comes in all forms and suppresses immune function, affects sleep, causes digestive issues, and sets us up for chronic illness.
The World Health Organization suggests that prevention of chronic infections is linked to healthy lifestyle choices. For example, people who suffer from obesity are much more vulnerable to experiencing chronic infections, due to their unhealthy body systems. Fungi overgrowth is much more likely in someone who eats a lot of sugary and processed foods since this is rich food for fungus to thrive on.
If you would like to read more about viruses being an underlying cause of Fibromyalgia, here are some links to a few articles about it: