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Definition of Epstein-Barr virus

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Epstein-Barr virus: A virus in the herpes family that is best known as the cause of infectious mononucleosis (also called mono and glandular fever). Abbreviated EBV. EBV infection is characterized by fatigue and general malaise. Infection with EBV is common and is normally temporary and minor. However, in some individuals EBV can trigger chronic illness, including immune and lymphoproliferative syndromes. It is a particular danger to people with compromised immune systems, including those with AIDS. Treatment is with antiviral medication and rest. Also known as human herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4).

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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