Awareness of the geographical distribution of multiple sclerosis makes the Epstein-Barr virus an unlikely agent. Multiple sclerosis is most common in the white population of northern Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. The risk of developing the disease in white populations increases with latitude. In Uganda, multiple sclerosis is rarely seen, while the Epstein-Barr virus is ubiquitous and high antibody levels may be predictive of Burkitt’s lymphoma. It’s tempting but hazardous to universalize studies done in New England.

William Parson
University of Washington
Seattle, Wash.