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Mononucleosis

Infection

Mononucleosis, also known as “mono”, is a contagious infection that in most cases is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). However, other viruses can also cause infectious mononucleosis, including HIV, hepatitis A, B, or C, and the German measles (rubella). This infection is common in children, teens, young adults, and people in college. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), 1 in 4 college students carries the EBV virus that causes mono. It is transmitted via saliva, blood, and other body fluids. You can get mononucleosis from kissing someone who has the virus and by sharing cups, utensils, and toothbrushes. Infectious mononucleosis takes around four to six weeks to show symptoms after you have been infected. In children, the symptoms may show up quicker. The virus usually clears up on its own in two to four weeks. In some people, the symptoms and fatigue may last up to six months or longer depending on how well your immune system is functioning. The good news is that if you get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and eat healthily, you will recover from the infection and your life will be back to normal before you know it.

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