Clinical Notes: Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)

In most cases, EBV infection is either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic.
Otherwise, EBV has three main types of clinical manifestations:

(1) Infectious mononucleosis
* Signs and symptoms include: fever, sore throat, headaches, white patches on the back of your throat, swollen glands in your neck, tiredness, and not feeling hungry.

* Virus is found in saliva and mucus, so spread by coughing, sneezing, and kissing, hence the name "the kissing disease."

* Mono is commonly diagnosed by the Monospot test.

* Treatment includes: getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, taking throat lozenges, acetominophen (Tylenol), and/or ibuprofen (Advil) for symptoms. Physical activity should be avoided for 3-4 weeks to avoid rupturing the spleen.

American Academy of Family Practice: Getting Through Mononucleosis
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Fact Sheet on Infectious Mononucleosis

(2) Cancers
Burkitt's Lymphoma
Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

(3) Infection in Immunocompromised Hosts
Progressive lymphoproliferative disease
X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome


Created: March 4, 1999
Last modified: March 5, 1999