You probably know Epstein Barr virus as mono, which is short for mononucleosis. The clinical name is infectious mononucleosis, but it is also known as glandular fever. Epstein Barr virus is a disseminated virus and the causative agent of this disease.
Mononucleosis has been known since the 1800s, and the disease includes swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and fever. That is why it is also known as glandular fever. In this article, we will summarize all you need to know about the Epstein Barr virus and how it causes mononucleosis, the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
What is the Epstein Barr virus?
The Epstein Barr virus is a part of the group of human herpes virus. More specifically, it is herpesvirus 4. Like other viruses of the same family, it is a double-stranded DNA virus.
Epstein Barr virus needs other cells to replicate and uses their machinery to create more viruses. The replicated viruses are released to the bloodstream to infect more cells when they are ready. Epstein Barr virus has a preference towards white blood cells and other cells in the immune system. That is why the disease takes lymph nodes.
Epstein Barr virus is one of the most prevalent infections in the world. 90% of the world population has been infected at some point. In the United States, the highest infection rate is found in Hispanics, African Americans, and females.