Kids Channel
Related Channels


Understanding the Epstein-Barr Virus

The Epstein-Barr virus, frequently referred to as EBV, is a member of the herpesvirus family and is one of the most common human viruses. The virus occurs worldwide, and most people become infected with EBV sometime during their lives. In the United States, as many as 95 percent of adults between 35 and 40 years of age have been infected. Infants become susceptible to EBV as soon as maternal antibody protection (immunity present at birth) disappears.
Many children become infected with EBV, and these infections usually cause no symptoms, or are indistinguishable from the other mild, brief illnesses of childhood. In the United States, and in other developed countries, many people are not infected with EBV during their childhood years. When EBV infection occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, it causes infectious mononucleosis 35 to 50 percent of the time.

How Is It Spread?

The illness is usually spread through saliva and mucus, which is where the "kissing disease" nickname comes from. In addition, mononucleosis can be transmitted in other ways, such as sipping from the same straw or glass as an infected person, or even being close when the person coughs or sneezes.
(Click How Is Mono Spread? for more information.)

Incubation Period

When a person becomes infected with the virus that causes mononucleosis, the virus begins to multiply within the body. After four to eight weeks, mono symptoms can begin. The period between becoming infected and the start of symptoms is called the mononucleosis incubation period.
6 Quick Tips for Getting Kids to Take Medicine

Mononucleosis Information

Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2020 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.