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Mononucleosis and Epstein–Barr virus infection: treatment and medication

Authors Valachis A, Kofteridis DP

Received 31 December 2011

Accepted for publication 13 February 2012

Published 14 March 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 23—28

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VAAT.S17837

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Antonis Valachis2, Diamantis P Kofteridis1

1Departments of Internal Medicine-Infectious Disease Unit, University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece; 2Department of Oncology, Mälarsjukhuset, Eskilstuna, Sweden

Abstract: Epstein–Barr virus is a member of the human herpes virus family. Primary infection is usually asymptomatic in childhood; in adolescents and young adults, however, it leads to infectious mononucleosis with symptoms including fever, fatigue, and sore throat that can persist for months. The disease is usually self-limited and resolves over a period of weeks or months but may occasionally be complicated by a wide variety of complications. Symptomatic treatment, the cornerstone of therapy, includes adequate hydration, analgesics, antipyretics, and limitations of contact sports and activities. The role of antiviral treatment and corticosteroids is debatable and not recommended in general, while the development of vaccination is under investigation. This review concentrates on the diagnosis, the potential complications, and the therapeutic strategies in patients with infectious mononucleosis.

Keywords: Epstein–Barr virus, infectious mononucleosis, EBV

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