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The symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus infection include fever, fatigue, malaise, and sore throat.The designation "mononucleosis" refers to an increase in a particular type of mononuclear white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the bloodstream relative to the other white blood cells as a result of the viral infection.The tonsils have a whitish coating in at least one-third of the cases.The spleen (sometimes referred to as the body's biggest lymph node) is an organ found in the left upper abdomen underneath the rib cage, which becomes enlarged or swollen in about half of patients with mono.When infection occurs in childhood, the virus most often produces no symptoms.
It typically takes between four to eight weeks for people become symptomatic after the initial Epstein-Barr virus infection.
The term infectious mononucleosis was first used in 1920 when an increased number of lymphocytes were found in the blood of a group of college students who had fever and symptoms of the condition.
The EBV that causes mono is found throughout the world.
Most people have been exposed to the virus as children, and as a result of the exposure, they have developed immunity to the virus.
It is of note that most people who are exposed to the EBV don't ever develop mononucleosis.
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The incubation period for mono, meaning the time from the initial viral infection until the appearance of clinical symptoms, is between four and eight weeks.