Mono is caused
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). You are at increased risk of
getting mono if you:
- Are between the ages of 10 and
24, especially if you are in close contact with many people. In the United
States, college students, nurses, and people in the military are most likely to
- Have intimate contact with a person who has mono or an
active EBV infection. (A brief kiss on the lips is not likely to spread EBV. It
is spread when saliva from an infected person gets into another person's
- Share drinking glasses, eating utensils, dishes, or a
toothbrush with an infected person. A person does not have to have symptoms of
mono to spread EBV.
After you have been infected with EBV, the virus may stay
in your body for the rest of your life. But you will not get mono again.
EBV is not spread through the air. You can live with a person who has
mono and never become infected with the virus.
Most people have
been infected with EBV before, so they usually don't get mono when exposed to a
person who has it.
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