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Common infection, caused by Epstein-Barr virus. It occurs most often at ages 10–35. Infected young children usually have little or no illness but become immune. Popularly called the kissing disease, it is spread mostly by oral contact with exchange of saliva. It usually lasts 7–14 days. The most common symptoms are malaise, sore throat, fever, and lymph-node enlargement. Liver involvement is usual but rarely severe. The spleen often enlarges and in rare cases ruptures fatally. Less frequent features include rash, pneumonia, encephalitis (sometimes fatal), meningitis, and peripheral neuritis. Relapse and second attacks are rare. Diagnosis may require blood analysis. There is no specific therapy.
Variants of MONONUCLEOSIS, INFECTIOUS
mononucleosis, infectious or glandular fever
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