Infectious Mononucleosis (cont.)

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How can mono be prevented?

Since mono is spread from person to person, avoiding close personal contact with infected individuals and practicing excellent hygienic practices can help prevent transmission of the virus. However, since periodic reactivations of the virus infection seem to occur in healthy individuals and because many infected people who may transmit the virus to others will not have symptoms of the condition, prevention is extremely difficult. In fact, these individuals without symptoms are believed to be the primary source of transmission of the virus. The fact that up to 95% of adults have antibodies to EBV suggests that prevention of the infection is difficult if not impossible. It is not known why some people develop the symptoms of mono while others appear to acquire the EBV infection without having symptoms. It is possible that many infections occur and produce mild symptoms and are not recognized as mono, while other infections may not produce symptoms at all.


Infectious mononucleosis is usually a self-limited, although sometimes prolonged, and often uncomfortable illness. While specific treatment is rarely necessary, the potential complications make it essential that people with this illness be under the care of a physician.

Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease


Buchwald, D.S., T.D. Rea, W.J. Katon, J.E. Russo, and R.L. Ashley. "Acute Infectious Mononucleosis: Characteristics of Patients Who Report Failure to Recover." Am J Med 109.7 (2000): 531.

Cunha, Burke A. "Infectious Mononucleosis." Oct. 19, 2009. <>.

Luzuriaga, K., and J.L. Sullivan. "Infectious Mononucleosis." N Engl J Med 362.21 (2010): 1993.

Macsween, K.F., C.D. Higgins, K.A. McAulay, H. Williams, N. Harrison, A.J. Swerdlow, and D.H. Crawford. "Infectious Mononucleosis in University Students in the United Kingdom: Evaluation of the Clinical Features and Consequences of the Disease." Clin Infect Dis 50.5 (2010): 699.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis." May 16, 2006.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/3/2015

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