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Who Is Affected by Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis (mono) occurs in about 1 out of 2,000 people every year. People between the ages of 15 and 24 are most likely to have symptoms of mono.1

Most people have been exposed to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which causes mono, by the time they reach adulthood. They likely won't have symptoms, but they can spread the virus to others every now and then throughout their lives.

  • Young children infected with the virus usually have no symptoms or only mild symptoms.
  • If a person is first infected with the virus as a teen or young adult, he or she is likely to develop symptoms of mono.

Citations

  1. Johannsen EC, Kaye KM (2010). Epstein-Barr virus (infectious mononucleosis, Epstein-Barr virus-associated malignant diseases, and other diseases). In GL Mandell et al., eds., Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 7th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1989–2010. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Last Revised July 28, 2011

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