What Increases Your Risk
Mono is usually caused by the Reference Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) Opens New Window. You are at increased risk of getting mono if you:
- Are age 15 to 24, especially if you are in close contact with many people.Reference 1 In the United States, college students, nurses, and people in the military are most likely to get mono.
- 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 mouth.)
- 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 they are exposed to a person who has it.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 28, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease