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Herpetic Reactivations and Long COVID

I share this as a follow-on to my last post about #LongCovid and blood work, and the Do you know how when you’re deeply invested in something you procrastinate doing it because you feel like you can’t do it justice? That was me with this.

I’ve been talking about viral persistence and reactivations in #LongCovid since 2020, with early posts lightly covering the topic of viral persistence in the summer of 2020, and personal posts relating to my own reactivations since Sept 2020, even sharing my attempt at a “cranberry dreams” reel while hospitalized with #Shingles (you just have to laugh at life sometimes).

I have a #reactivation highlight reel on my profile going back to 2020, and the vast majority of my posts in the @wearebodypolitic group are related to #herpes reactivations.

But somehow I still didn’t feel able to properly cover this topic, and even still, no words can dive deep enough into the sheer magnitude of these reactivations in not only the #LongHauler community, but in the entire #ChronicIllness community.

Somehow the only way to grasp the seriousness of this wholly under-discussed and under-researched reality is to live it, because to live these reactivations as a result of #PostViral illness is to know them, and to know them far beyond what language could ever express.

It’s to know the electrocution of your brain, trigeminal nerve and eye due to shingles; to know the unimaginable #fatigue that exacerbates your already immobilizing chronic fatigue; to know that recurrence will return until treatments are available, because you’re too young to qualify for the shingles vaccine, despite being newly #immunocompromised due to COVID.

But I’m hardly the only one that knows this, despite trying to warn for years. And it’s hardly new science, with reactivations of Herpesviruses occurring across a wide range of illnesses, including in #MultipleSclerosis as seen with #EpsteinBarr.

But what frustrates me is how many clinicians and researchers just stop there - at #EBV - when the real criminal is the herpesvirus and its entire family of criminals.

If we don’t focus our innovation on learning how to treat and cure herpetic viruses - beyond just EBV - we will be enabling a chronically ill (and cancerous) fate of many for decades to come.

(All sources linked in the comments of my Instagram post.)

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