Doctor's Notes on What Are the Symptoms of Epstein-Barr Virus?
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a common herpesvirus that is the cause of infectious mononucleosis (“mono”). EBV infection is passed from person to person mainly by saliva or contact with items and substances contaminated with bodily fluids like saliva (toys, utensils, cups). Children, teens, and young adults are most commonly infected. EBV infection is found throughout the world.
Signs and symptoms of infectious mononucleosis include fever, tiredness, sore throat, headache, and muscle aches. Other associated symptoms can include enlargement of the liver, enlargement of the spleen, rash, enlarged tonsils, and swelling of the lymph nodes. Symptoms typically last for two to four weeks or even longer in some people. There is no vaccine available to prevent EBV infection.
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Fever (in Adults)A fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment of fever in adults usually involves ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
Fever in ChildrenFever is defined as a rectal temperature over 100.4 F or 38 C. Fever isn't life-threatening unless it is persistently high - greater than a 107 F rectal temperature. Fever is usually caused by an infection. Treatment focuses on controlling the temperature, preventing dehydration, and monitoring for serious illness.
Infectious MononucleosisInfectious mononucleosis is an infection most frequently caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands. Treatment incorporates plenty of rest, fluids, and taking over-the-counter medications. It is recommended to avoid strenuous exercise for at least one month after the onset of symptoms to avoid rupturing the spleen.
Sore ThroatSore throats are generally named for the anatomical site affected, such as: the pharynx, tonsils, adenoids, larynx, and epiglottis. Sore throat treatment depends on the cause, infection, viral, or fungal.
Swollen Lymph NodesLymph nodes (part of the lymphatic system) may signal infection if they are swollen. Types of conditions that involve swollen lymph nodes include: infection, virus, inflammation, or cancers. Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes depend upon the location. Treatment of swollen lymph nodes also depends upon the location and reason for the enlargement.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.