Epstein-Barr Virus Infection (cont.)
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Epstein-Barr Virus Infection Causes
EBV is a contagious virus that spreads from person to person and occurs throughout the world. The virus contains double-stranded DNA and multiplies in human lymphocytes (lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell) and other cells, such as those lining the mouth, tongue, and nose. The human immune system usually contains the virus effectively, reducing but not eliminating the viruses. A few living viruses persist in a line of lymphocytes for the rest of the person's life. This is known as "latent" infection. Occasionally, the virus may multiply (reactivate), but this does not cause symptoms unless the person's immune system is not working properly.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/2/2014
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