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Mononucleosis: Can it recur?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mononucleosis/AN01375
- With Mayo Clinic internist
James M. Steckelberg, M.D.read biographyclose window
James M. Steckelberg, M.D.James Steckelberg, M.D.
Dr. James Steckelberg is a consultant in the Division of Infectious Diseases and a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School.
A native of Fremont, Neb., Dr. Steckelberg was a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine as a resident in internal medicine and a fellow in infectious diseases, and is board certified in both. He is the former director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Steckelberg belongs to numerous professional organizations. He is a founding member of the Musculoskeletal Infection Society and a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He has served on many Mayo Clinic committees and is a member of the Department of Medicine Leadership Committee and of the executive committee of the Division of Infectious Diseases. He also served on the editorial boards of "Mayo Clinic Proceedings" and "Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy" and has been an editorial reviewer for more than a dozen publications.
Dr. Steckelberg's research interests include experimental models of infection, epidemiology of infection, and antimicrobial resistance and therapy of bacterial infections.
- Mononucleosis: Can it recur?
Mononucleosis: Can it recur?
Can mononucleosis recur? I thought that once you got mono you couldn't get it again.
from James M. Steckelberg, M.D.
Most people who have infectious mononucleosis, or mono, get it only once. Rarely, however, mononucleosis symptoms may recur months or even years later.
Most cases of mononucleosis are caused by infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Once you're infected with EBV, you carry the virus — usually in a dormant state — for the rest of your life. Periodically, however, the virus may reactivate. When this happens, the virus can be detected in your saliva — but you're not likely to become ill. Rarely, reactivated EBV may cause illness in people who have weak immune systems, such as those who have AIDS.
Mononucleosis rarely leads to a serious condition called chronic active EBV infection, which is characterized by persistent illness more than six months after the initial mononucleosis diagnosis.
If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of mononucleosis — such as fatigue, weakness, fever, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes — and you've had mono before, consult your doctor to determine the cause of your current symptoms. Keep in mind that many other conditions, such as hepatitis and toxoplasmosis, can mimic the symptoms of mononucleosis.Next question
Mononucleosis and Epstein-Barr: What's the connection?
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- Infectious mononucleosis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec14/ch189/ch189f.html. Accessed Aug. 26, 2012.
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