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What causes mononucleosis?

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In general, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is what causes mononucleosis, or mono. It’s a common virus that many people are exposed to as kids, but even if you’re exposed to EBV, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll get mono. It’s possible to be infected with EBV and carry it in your body for your entire life without ever having symptoms of mono.

EBV is part of the herpes virus family, and it’s one of the most common viruses you can get. Most people get infected with it at some point during their lives, and people all over the world get it. In the U.S., about 85% to 90% of adults are infected with the virus by the time they’re 40 years old. Usually, the infection happens before a child becomes a teen.

EBV is the most common cause of mono, but other viruses can also cause it.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Mononucleosis.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Mononucleosis.”

KidsHealth.org: “Mononucleosis.”

CDC: “About Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV).”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 28, 2018

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Mononucleosis.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Mononucleosis.”

KidsHealth.org: “Mononucleosis.”

CDC: “About Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV).”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 28, 2018

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