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Epstein-Barr Virus Infection (cont.)

Follow-up for an Epstein-Barr Virus Infection

People with acute mononucleosis usually recover completely and do not need prolonged follow-up. The exceptions are people with an enlarged spleen who should be followed until this resolves. The few individuals who develop chronic neurological changes usually have follow-up with a neurologist.

How Can People Prevent Epstein-Barr Virus Infections?

Most people will acquire EBV at some point in their lives; it is very difficult to prevent infection. It has been recommended that people with mononucleosis refrain from donating blood until at least six months after recovery. People who have had hepatitis caused by EBV will usually not be permitted to donate blood.

What Is the Prognosis for an Epstein-Barr Virus Infection?

The prognosis for Epstein-Barr virus infection is good. Almost all people infected with EBV recover completely in about one to three months. Neurological changes usually completely resolve, although a few adults may have some deficits. Although most infections become latent, most remain asymptomatic. There are ongoing efforts to develop a vaccine against EBV, but these have not been successful to date. New medications are being developed to treat mononucleosis and EBV.

For More Information on Epstein-Barr Virus Infections

"Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis," CDC

"Pediatric Mononucleosis and Epstein-Barr Virus Infection,"


Dickens, K.P., Nye, A.M., Gilchrist, V., Rickett, K., Neher, J.O. "Clinical inquiries. Should you use steroids to treat infectious mononucleosis?" J Fam Pract 57 (2008):754-5.

Harley, J.B., and J.A. James. "Epstein-Barr virus infection induces lupus autoimmunity." Bull NYU Hosp Jt Dis. 64(1-2) 2006: 45-50. <>.

Higgins, Craig D., et al. "A Study of Risk Factors for Acquisition of Epstein-Barr Virus and Its Subtypes." Journal of Infectious Diseases 195 Feb. 15, 2007. <>.

Hurt, C., Tammaro, D. "Diagnostic evaluation of mononucleosis-like illnesses." Am J Med 120 (2007): 911.e1-8.

Katz, B.Z., Shiraishi, Y., Mears, C.J., Binns, H.J., Taylor, R. "Chronic fatigue syndrome after infectious mononucleosis in adolescents." Pediatrics 124 (2009): 189-93.

Santiago, O., et al. "Relation between Epstein-Barr virus and multiple sclerosis: analytic study of scientific production." Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 29.7 July 2010: 857-866. <>.

Sullivan, John L. "Clinical manifestations and treatment of Epstein-Barr virus infection." June 2015. <>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/28/2016

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