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Sure Signs You Have Epstein-Barr Like Cher

Here’s what EBV and mono look like.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Epstein-Barr virus is one of the most common human viruses and can cause infectious mononucleosis, also called mono, as well as other illnesses. EBV is commonly spread through saliva and other bodily fluids, and most people are likely to get infected at some point in their lives. Singer and actress Cher, 75, contracted Epstein-Barr in the 90s and has been open about her battle with the virus. Here are five common symptoms of Epstein-Barr, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.



Woman awakened lying in bed with her eyes open.

Fatigue is a common symptom of mononucleosis. "Most people who are infected with mono experience little more than your typical cold symptoms, but there are a small, but significant number of people who suffer a variety of potentially life-threatening complications, if not extreme fatigue that can be quite debilitating," says Dr. Steven Y. Park.


Swollen Liver

woman holding liver

"In a series of 500 patients with confirmed infectious mononucleosis, at least 98 percent had sore throat, lymph node enlargement, fever, and tonsillar enlargement," according to Mark H. Ebell, M.D, M.S. "Other common physical signs included pharyngeal inflammation (85 percent) and transient palatal petechiae (50 percent). This presentation is typical in adolescents. Older adults are less likely to have sore throat and adenopathy but more likely to have hepatomegaly and jaundice."


Swollen Lymph Nodes

woman touching neck with her hands.

Swollen lymph nodes are a common sign of EBV, and one of the first things a doctor will look for. "Mononucleosis infects your body's lymphoid system, most of which are found in your lymph nodes and spleen," says Dr. Park. These lymph glands educate your body about any infections and respond appropriately by making more immune cells. As a result, the glands can swell to various degrees—sometimes, to dangerous levels. Besides the many lymph glands in your neck, your tonsils (and adenoids) are also made of lymphoid tissue. So if you are a teen or a young adult and still have relatively large tonsils, then being infected with mono will cause your tonsils to swell."


Sore Throat

Young woman with throat pain while standing in the living room at home.

A sore throat is another common sign of EBV. "A sore throat usually lasts just a few days, but if it is glandular fever you may still have a sore throat and other symptoms for 2 to 3 weeks. If the symptoms are prolonged and you feel unwell or concerned, it is best to see your doctor," advises Health Direct Australia.


Who Is Most Likely To Be Affected?

Woman experiencing first Covid-19 symptoms throat pain breathing problems on sofa

"Glandular fever [mono] can affect people of all ages, but most cases affect teenagers and young adults," says the NHS. "Most EBV infections are thought to occur during childhood and cause only mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all. However, if a person develops an EBV infection during early adulthood, they can develop glandular fever. Once you have had glandular fever, it is unlikely you will develop it again. This is because people develop lifelong immunity after the initial infection." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more about Ferozan