I had mono my first year in University. Sick as a dog, I was. Sicker than your average dog, in fact. What really burned my hide besides the fact that it nailed me neatly in time for exams (I slept through my biology exam) was that I HADN'T KISSED ANYONE for months before I got it. It seemed unfair. Should have the kissing, anyway, if you're going to suffer with that stuff. It was nasty.
The next year, my dad was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Apparently it is related to Epstein-Barr viral infection, which he had had in university. He fought it, bravely, for 10 years, gradually whittling away to a pencil stick of a man who gleefully ate hot fudge sundaes while I tried to diet and then told me over and over again how wonderful they tasted. "Let me describe it to you," he'd say. "It'll be almost like the real thing." He was so thin I didn't begrudge it, and we snorted with laughter at each other, me trying to get skinny, he trying to get fatter. But when he was diagnosed and they told him about EBV, I felt a little shudder run up my spine.
Then I get diagnosed with MS, the first in my family to do so. And as I read about the condition, I see that ol' EBV raising its ugly head again. Surely they could come up with a vaccine for this? They've managed one for chicken pox, another herpesvirus - I know vaccines for herpesviruses are challenging because of these viruses' nasty habits of hanging about forever in your nervous system (think shingles, that other herpes that we all hope never to have to explain to anyone, etc.). But I'm beginning to think that those of us who do get really sick with EBV have pretty serious risks of developing other nasty and healthcare expensive things. Might be worth the investment.
And I'm not the only one...
Whaddya say, big pharma? Got any vaccine in that pipeline for MS prevention?