Algoma Public Health
What is it?
- A viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.
- Commonly seen in older children and adults.
- Difficult to recognize in young children.
What are the symptoms?
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands (neck)
- Loss of appetite
- Enlarged spleen
- Jaundice (yellow skin/eyes) in 4% of young adults.
How quickly do symptoms develop?
- 4 – 6 weeks after contact with an infected person.
How is it spread?
- Through direct contact with mouth and/or nose secretions of an infected person; e.g. saliva on hands and kissing.
- Indirect contact with contaminated objects e.g. toys, sharing water bottles, cigarettes
- Rarely through blood transfusions.
How long is it contagious?
- Up to a year or more, even though symptoms subside.
- Student may return to school upon recommendations from physician.
How is it treated?
- No treatment other than rest is needed in most cases.
What can you do?
- Cover your mouth when coughing.
- Discard tissues soiled with nose and throat discharges into the garbage.
- Wash hands carefully to help prevent the spread.
- Avoid activities involving the transfer of saliva; e.g. sharing water bottles or cigarettes, or
- by kissing someone who is infected.
- Avoid sharing water bottles or cups .
Date of Creation: June 1, 2015
Last Modified: Feb 25, 2016