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The symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus infection include fever, fatigue, malaise, and sore throat.
The designation "mononucleosis" refers to an increase in a particular type of mononuclear white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the bloodstream relative to the other white blood cells as a result of the viral infection.
While there are other illnesses falling under the broad classification of mononucleosis that can cause similar symptoms (cytomegalovirus [CMV] infection is one example) and an increase in blood lymphocytes, the mononucleosis caused by the EBV is by far the most common. As previously discussed, the majority of people have become infected with the virus by the time that they reach adulthood, and the majority of these infections produce no symptoms and are not recognized as mono.
It typically takes between four to eight weeks for people become symptomatic after the initial Epstein-Barr virus infection.The incubation period for mono, meaning the time from the initial viral infection until the appearance of clinical symptoms, is between four and eight weeks.During an infection, the contagious period in which a person is likely able to transmit the virus to others lasts for at least a few weeks and possibly longer, even after symptoms have disappeared (see below).Infectious mononucleosis, "mono," "kissing disease," and glandular fever are all terms popularly used for the very common infection typically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), but other viruses can also cause the disease.This article focuses specifically on the Epstein-Barr virus as a cause of mono since this is the characteristic virus associated with the condition.
Mono is confirmed by blood tests that may also include tests to exclude other possible causes of the symptoms, such as tests to rule out strep throat.